Sunday, December 11, 2011

Power-Boost Salad...


OK here it is, a new favorite- a great way to add those dark, nutrient packed veggies to your diet! When people talk about "eating the rainbow" to benefit from all the different vitamins and minerals found in the different colors of fruits and veggies, this salad would be on the top of the "rainbow list!" Aren't the colors beautiful?? This will be on my table ALL the time this winter. It is a great nutrient dense, powerhouse salad that will be sure to leave your insides, your taste buds, and your tummy all asking for more! Some of the veggies used in this salad, such as radicchio and kale, can have more of a bitter taste to them, but add the sweet carrots and mapley mild dressing and it's a beautiful combination! Give it a go!

Ingredients: (they are all approximations, use what you have on hand!)
1 crown broccoli, chopped
2-3 large carrots, chopped
2-3 handfuls chopped kale
1/4 wedge radicchio, chopped
1/4 wedge red cabbage, chopped
4-5 stalks celery, chopped
1 handful dried cranberries
1 handful dry roasted almonds

Dressing:
4 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp real maple syrup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp sea salt


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Peppermint Paradise...

So... today is actually Thanksgiving and I DO hope you are having a wonderful time celebrating with family and friends and rejoicing over the MANY things we DO have to be thankful for. I am thankful for my hard-working (at work, at home, and with me!) husband, my sweet kids, my precious family both near and far, dear friends, good health, and the many basic needs that the Lord provides daily for us. And... I am thankful for this time of year. The Christmas Season where we have extra opportunities to love on others, teach our kids about the world near and far, bless those who have little or a lot with our words and actions, a chance to create memories with our Advent Calendar, and some time to relish in the deliciousness of "Peppermint Paradise!" 
 Thanks to my good friends at Trader Joe's (that's actually true, I DO have some really sweet friends there thanks to my frequent visits and their sweet hearts!) they supply me with plenty of peppermint to get my fill for the whole year. I DO love me some peppermint - and if there is chocolate involved, consider it a done deal!


 Here are some of my favorite Peppermint Treats I think you ought to take a peek at if you are a lover of the Christmas Flavor...

Introducing the new and scrumptious "Mini Peppermint Waffle Cookies"... they are bits of waffle cookie covered in a rich chocolate sprinkled with peppermint crumbs...oh, they are dangerous!


Don't forget about the ever-delicious Peppermint Joe-Joe's...

If you want to make your own home made version of peppermint cookies, try these!

Did you know that they make a Peppermint Joe-Joe ice cream now?? Don't buy it if you don't want to eat the whole thing in 5 minutes... it's beautiful!
Also, on a healthier (non-chocolate note!) Trader Joe's has refreshing Peppermint Candy Cane Tea that is fabulous- a flavorful peppermint followed by a hint of sweet vanilla. It's Green tea and it's decaf!

And just for fun... look at these darling treats from here and here...








Don't you just want to put it out for decoration?? The cake stand alone is to die for!!!





Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kick off the Holidays...

Here's a little plug for the coolest gig ever.... Kick off your holiday season right by loving on others. This is a really practical, hands-on way to help, bless, love and care for those who don't have much. Check out this ministry called Operation Christmas Child by Samaritan's Purse. It's a great thing to do with your kids, it's a very tangible way for them to see and experience loving others in a real way. We get a (big) shoe box from the closet, then we head off to find treasures and trinkets we think these kids would like. Everything from dolls and cars, to toothpaste, brushes, hair ties, games, cards, and snacks. When the shoe box is full to the brim, we take it to a church drop off point, they include a bible and some stories about Jesus in the child's language, then they ship them all over the world- even the most remote parts!


 Gather your kids around the computer and show them some videos and pictures so they can really SEE where these goodies are going. They will love it. You will love it. And more importantly, the kids who receive the gift will be blessed beyond belief... with just a little shoe box of LOVE.

Samaritans Purse Videos: (Check out "Joy in the Farthest Reaches of the World")
http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/index/

Samaritans Purse Photos:
http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/In_Pictures/



Friday, November 4, 2011

Harvest Morning Oatmeal

 I love that Fall is here! It's time to change up our morning oatmeal from fresh berries and peaches, to something with a little bit more crunch! How about pomegranate seeds???


We cook Steel Cut Oats at least 3 times a week around here, and while they are cooking we always add a little cinnamon... feeling like a little more Fall-ish flavors?? Add a dash of Nutmeg and top with Pomegranate Seeds. Don't be afraid of Pomegranates, they are so easy to prepare (see "Tip" below), I usually do 4-5 at a time in a cool bowl of water in the kitchen sink and then store them in a Ziplock bag, which makes them a perfect topping for this Harvest Morning Oatmeal! Enjoy!

Quick Tip to De-Seed your Pomegranates: Fill up a large bowl in your sink with cool water. Take your pomegranate and slice it in half with a sharp knife. Submerge one half of the pomegranate in the water and peel back the skin like you are turning it inside out. All the seeds will pop out and because it's under water there will be no spraying or staining of your clothes! Plus, all the seeds will sink to the bottom and all the excess stuff from the inside of the pomegranate will float to the top. Then you can skim off the top of the bowl with you hand and strain the seeds out for eating. I usually do a bunch at a time and store them in a ziplock bag in the fridge to snack on!

Do you have extra Pomegranates, try this delicious salad, one of my favorites for sure!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Success Story: Kelly



Meet my friend Kelly. She's about as sweet as they come... and so is her darling family. She called me a few weeks ago ready to make a change with her diet and looking for some help along the way. She had decided she was ready to change her eating habits, and those of her husband, 2 boys and thought she could use a little direction along the way. So I set up a week long meal plan for her, including breakfasts, lunches, dinner, snacks and desserts. Here's a little snip-it of her journey... I thought you guys might enjoy reading about it. And if you are feeling like you relate with Kelly and want a change in your diet, or you are looking for a meal plan or a change up from the normal, than check out the meal  plan at the bottom of her story. 

1. What made you want to change the way you eat?
I enjoy eating healthy and trying new foods, but my husband is picky and does not like very many vegetables. Also, I am not the most experienced cook. :) My mom, who is truly the most fantastic mom, did not teach me how to cook. She did very little cooking when I was growing up; she just did not like to cook. This combination of not having a lot of experience and having a picky eating husband discouraged me from trying new recipes. When I tried to cook healthy, the meals were boring, simple meals. Then we had kids and life was even more crazy and trying to cook new foods was far off my reality radar. Truly, I wanted to learn some better options for my family and I love trying new foods, but it seemed like too big of a mountain to climb with 3 little kids ages three years old and younger. Then a few weeks ago I was reading an article about processed sugar and how it is broken down in the body. That same week my husband and I had a conversation with some of our close friends about a food documentary they had watched about American diets. This further confirmed in my mind it was time to make a change. A light went on inside me and I decided I wanted to cut out a lot of the process foods we were eating, but I needed help. I needed a mentor. I consulted one of my dearest friends, Andrea the author of this blog, and we got started on our healthy eating week long boot camp...cutting out the processed foods and sugars. Andrea made me a one-week meal plan complete with breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and dessert.  She also met me at the store and we picked out good snacks and also foods that we could take on the go so that if we were stuck in the car during a meal time we would have options until we made it home. 

2. What was the hardest part about changing?
Since the kitchen often overwhelms me and I did not have many other ideas besides what I was already doing, I needed a plan. I needed to know what I could snack on and cook if I was not going to be able to eat my normal snacks and foods. Now, it was not like we were eating fast food or mac and cheese every night, but we did have our share of cookies and crackers in the pantry. So I needed replacements, but I did not know where to start. I already fed my family fruits and (some) vegetables, but what about more interesting ideas. I had none. I also needed to get my husband on board. He totally stepped up and supported me. Love him!  

3. What was the best thing about your new meal plan?
The best part was that it was complete and stress free because I did not have to come up with the foods we were going to eat...it was all mapped out. The meals were chosen at a cooking level in which I felt comfortable. I also had Andrea who I could call and ask questions if I needed help with the cooking. :)  

4. Did you feel different?
I did feel different. My body processed the food a lot more, uh-hem, efficiently. :) Mentally, it was awesome to know that I had not put junk in my body all day and that my family was eating healthy. It also was a victory to actually eat a whole week cutting out the processed junk and still really enjoy what I was eating. 

5. And do you think you will continue? why or why not.
Yes we will continue. It is going to be slowly. I am slowly going to build up more foods that we all like that fit into this new category of healthy and tasty meals. My husband was really impressed with the fact that the food was healthy and flavorful. I am excited to keep going on this journey. I do admit though that I will sometimes break my own rules...ice cream sometimes sneaks its way into our freezer. :)





Kelly*s New Meal Plan!




Sunday


Monday


Tuesday



Wednesday

Thursday


Friday



Saturday

B: Rice Cakes/
Apples w/ PB
(or granola w/
      milk)

B: Smoothies
 & Eggs

B: Oatmeal &
    Fresh Fruit

B: Smoothies
 & Rice Cakes (or apples) w/PB

B: Oatmeal &
   Fresh Fruit

B: Smoothies
 & Eggs

B: Breakfast
       Burritos

L : Grilled Cheese, Tuna or PB & Honey Sandwiches w/ carrots, bells & cucumbers dipped in hummus

L: Hummus Sandwiches in Pitas with cucumbers, sprouts, bells, basil, etc. with nuts and fruit

L: Leftover
   Taco Salad

Left over Pesto Pasta w/ apple & baby carrots

L: Leftover
  Greek Salad
Stuffed Pitas

L: Leftover
   Mexican Lasagna & Baby
    Carrots

L: Leftover Santa Fe Salad

D: BBQ chicken, Sweet Potato Fries & Salad or Corn on the Cob


D: Taco Salad

D: Pesto Pasta or Spaghetti w/ broccoli, squash or asparagus

D: Greek Salad Stuffed Pitas

D: Mexican
     Lasagna
& Green Salad

D: Santa Fe        Salad

D: OUT!
(Chipolte or Coconut Joe’s)
Snacks/Dessert:
* Fruit/Veggies
* Mango Ice    Cream
Snacks/Dessert:
* Apples & PB
* Dried Apricots & Choc. Chips
Snacks/Dessert:
* Lara Bar
* popcorn
Snacks/ Dessert:
* pistachios
* Banana Whips
Snacks/Dessert:
* Trail Mix
* Popcorn
Snacks/Dessert:
* Rice Crackers
* Banana whips
Snacks/Dessert:
* Granola Bars
*TREAT!    IceCream

Friday, October 28, 2011

And the WINNER is...

The Winner of the Sippy Cup Cleaner Giveaway is....

    The Ryska Family! 


Congrats!! Keep your eye for it in the mail!
   Thanks to all who participated!!!


*Winner was chosen by using  http://www.random.org/*

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Did you HEAR???


Just incase you live near a Trader Joe's and you are moderately to majorly obsessed... here's a heads up....they now carry KALE AND GLUTEN FREE BREAD!!!! Can you believe it?? Check it out, it's even printed in their Fearless Flyer... TWO GREAT NEW additions in one MONTH!!! I can hardly stand it!

** If you are wondering what to do with kale, you can add it to a salad, it can be sauteed, it can be hidden in apple sauce, it can be made into chips, added to soups or smoothies and it's packed with nutrients that will make your body happy!

** And I think their Brown Rice Gluten Free Bread comes in two options: 1. Whole Grain Brown Rice Bread 2. Multigrain Brown Rice Bread.... it's dense and heavy, but it's great toasted if you are trying to avoid gluten!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Homemade Pesto Pizza


This cooler weather calls for a toasted pizza bursting with flavor!
Try branching out, letting go of the traditional marinara pizza sauce, or maybe even the BBQ pizza... it's time to meet Pesto Pizza.


Pizza Dough Rolled out with Pesto Sauce, Sauteed Onions & Green Peppers
 Add the tomato, chicken, and cheese
 Bake at 450 and you are done!



Ingredients: (this will make 2 pizza's)
2 rounds of pizza dough ( I used Trader Joe's pre-made whole wheat dough)
mozzarella cheese, shredded
cooked chicken, cubed (see below)
1 tomato, diced
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
pesto pizza sauce (see recipe below)



Pesto Pizza Sauce:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil
3 cloves garlic

Cooked Chicken:
This recipe is great if you have left over chicken from another dish, if not, here's what I did. I baked a package of chicken that was seasoned with sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a Pyrex dish, then cubed it. I used half for the pizza, and saved half for the next night's salad. Two meals in one :)

Directions:
If you are using a premade pizza dough, see directions, but the TJ's one will tell you to take your dough out 20 minutes before to let it rise. In a Vitamix or food processor, make your pesto pizza sauce. Then,  on a floured cookie sheet, roll out your pizza dough and spoon on your pesto sauce. You can either add your onions & green peppers raw or saute them for 2 minutes in a drizzle of Grape Seed oil ( I prefer them sauteed with a little s & p!). So, next add your sauteed green peppers, your onion, and your fresh chopped tomato. Sprinkle with Mozzarella Cheese and bake for 12 minutes on 450 until cheese is melted and bubbly, golden brown! YUM! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sippy Cup SAVER!


I am slowing down on my posts, my babes are keeping me busy and to be honest,  I have been enjoying fine tuning some old favorite recipes (stay tuned for some "tweaked" posts when I share about changes I have made to "Old Faithful" Recipes) but for now, I have a surprise in store for you!

 Are you ready for the ULTIMATE SIPPY CUP CLEANING TOOL EVER??? This is it... Meet OXO's Sippy Cup Cleaner Kit... ain't she cute???


So, I stumbled upon these at one of my excursions to Home Goods. How cool are these!? They are great for the sippy cup that goes unnoticed under the couch for a few days {gulp... weeks} and has things growing on the inside, these fine, narrow little brushes get in all the right places, even the holes in the top!!!!



But my personal favorite use, is.... SMOOTHIE CLEANING! Do the inside of your sippy cup straws ever get plastered with dried smoothie, making it virtually impossible to get it clean?? Or do you ever get seeds stuck in the tiny holes in the top??  NO LONGER my friends, this tool will save your ... sippy cups LIFE- guaranteed!




Sunday, October 16, 2011

Time Saving Tip #4

I recently starting making "Smoothie Pouches" mostly because I am trying to be effiecient in the kitchen and trying to cut down on time spent doing the same things over and over- effieciency is part of eating well. If it's too hard, too time consuming, or too strenuous, most likely we won't stick with it. So here's my latest idea.
Time Saving Tip #4: Smoothie Pouches


I package up my smoothie ingredients once a week into 5 bags (Quart Sized Ziplock). I make sure I have ripe bananans for all the bags and then I add my allotted frozen fruit and veggies. Here's where a big time saving tip comes in. I have started freezing my veggies in ice cube trays to make 'veggie cubes" that can be tossed into smoothies. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE having fresh veggies in my smoothie (versus frozen because you loose a little food value when you freeze) but, on days when I don't have any "smoothie friendly" veggies left on hand these Kale Cubes in handy!

 Here's how to make kale cubes:
Add one peeled orange and an entire bunch of rinsed and de-stemmed kale to your Vitamix and blend until smooth. Scoop out with a spoon into ice cube trays and freeze. Then add 2 -3 cubes to your smoothie pouches.




So in each veggie pouch you would find something like this: 1 banana, frozen blueberries (1/2 cup), frozen pineapple (1/2 cup) frozen peaches, and 2 kale cubes. That means when I go to make my smoothie first thing in the morning, I just dump in the pouch and add my coconut milk, water, flax seed, and any other fresh veggies, like a few tomatoes or a chunk of red cabbage and away we go!

This makes making smoothies every morning not so daunting- it's also great to prep if you have a husband who's a little shy on the Smoothie Making Task- this is error proof!

Here's some proof that your kids will gobble them up!

Side note: If you juice, I use to do this with my veggies for juicing. I would wash & cut my carrots, celery, etc. at the beginning of the week and store it with a papertowel in a ziplock. Then they would be ready to juice every morning!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Time Saving Tip #3

Time Saving Tip #3: Meal Planning
Meal planning. Honestly, that is my saving grace. Meal planning is the ticket... it saves you time, it saves you money and it saves you stress as well as probably some inches too! Here's why!

If you meal plan you are less likely to waste ingredients or have ingredients go bad before you get to them. You are also less likely to binge on something not so healthy or resort to eating out or calling in pizza which could save you some inches on your bod too! It also means that planning ahead will also save you money because you won't be buying things you don't need and you won't be throwing things out! It means that once the week starts I go into "autopilot" and just make what's on the list, which means a whole lot less thinking, pondering, or frustrating searching through the fridge trying frantically to come up with what to feed my family!

Here's some tips that I have found to be helpful. I subscribe to "Abundant Harvest Organics" which is a veggie drop box once a week that arrives on Saturdays. So, I take inventory of that and then sit down on Saturday or Sunday to look through my recipes collection (this blog!! ha!) and I pick through things that incorporate our veggies from our box. Then I write up a list of meals Monday- Friday on one side of a paper and a list of ingredients on the other side. Then, when I head off to the store, I only buy what is on my "list side" of the sheet, rarely does something make it into the cart that's not needed or recorded on the list (except for the dark chocolate something that is always welcome to take a gander in my grocery basket!). When I get home from the store, I put paper with the meal list up on the fridge to navigate my week! Simple as that. Give it a whirl, I am sure you will find it helpful- and easy too once you get into a groove! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Time Saving Tip #2


I am always a fan of getting the most "bang for you buck" so this Time Saving Tip is at the top of my charts! I started doing it when Baby #2 was on his way, I would double up my soups- eat one for dinner and freeze the other for a different night down the road when I was to tired to cook!

Time Saving Tip #2: Multiplying Meals
Photo borrowed from http://chefann.wordpress.com/

Whenever you are making a stew, soup, chili, or different dish that freezes well, get out a second pot and double it. You will thank yourself the following week when you have a home cooked meal with no effort at all! And, it works great when you buy a bag of carrots or a large stalk of celery or an extra large onion- because you end up using all your ingredients between the two pots and nothing is wasted or goes bad! It's perfect for this time of year... welcome Fall!


What about you... do you have any time saving tips you use to make your kitchen time as efficient as possible??? Share with us!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Time Saving Tip #1

I know it's been a while since I posted, I do have a few recipes to share, there are just a lot of other things on my.... plate :) .... but I will try to get around to it! For now, let me share a few tips that make my time in the kitchen a little more efficient!

Time Saving Tip #1: Planning Lunch Ahead
For dinner lots of nights, we have a big salad as the side dish if not a main dish with some meat, beans or lentils on top. So, as I am making the big salad for dinner, I take out 2 extra containers (one for me & one for my husband or daughter- or whoever is in need of lunch the next day) and I make all 3 salads at once. Then I snap on the lids (without dressing it) and into the fridge it goes for lunch the next day! It's a great way to ensure you a healthy, filling, nutritious meal for you and the ones you love the next day without the headache or frustration of digging through the fridge come lunch time!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Banana Whipped Treat...


It's been a while since I have posted... kinda in a slump of good recipes, kinda busy traveling, kinda not making time to get on the computer- a little combination of it all! BUT... have no fear, we have a great new recipe to try!

Hats off to my sister for this one... she sent me the idea, I tried it a few hours later.... and well... we are having them again tonight! Super simple, really tasty, light and a healthy way to end your day!

Ingredients:
2 frozen bananas (frozen for at least an hour)
1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
5-6 ice cubes
small handful of walnuts & chocolate chips for topping

Directions:
Simply peel your bananas and freeze them- you can peel them and pop them in a freezer ziplock for at least an hour or two before hand. Put the frozen bananas in your Vitamix or blender with your almond milk and ice cubes and blend until whipped! Finely chop your walnuts and chocolate chips and sprinkle (heavily!) on top!!!

Add ons?? Try a scoop of peanut butter if you're a fan .... or a tablespoon of Flaxseed if you are looking for more fiber in your diet with a hint of nutty flavor! Want it more creamy like ice cream?? Lessen your amount of almond milk! Like coconut?? Use coconut milk in place of almond milk... really the options are endless!

Frozen Banana Prep: If you want to freeze multiple bananas at a time, peel them, lay them on a cookie sheet and then freeze them for an hour or so, then take them out, pop them off your cookie sheet, and then store them in a ziplock freezer bag. This will prevent them from freezing all together.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Asian Flare Salad...



This is just an idea for you.... a lot of parts to this salad are "choose your own adventure" if you know what I mean- pick what you like and as much of it that you prefer... no measuring on this one! Let your taste buds be your guide!




Ingredients:
Lettuce or Cabbage
Carrots, shredded
Broccoli or cucumber, chopped
Bean Sprouts
Snap Peas
Bell Pepper, sliced
Fresh Mint, chopped
Grilled or Browned Chicken Tenderloins
Toasted Almond Slivers or Slices
A few Shakes of Sesame Seeds


Dressing:
1 TBSP Soy Sauce
1 TBSP Rice Vinegar
2 TBSP Grape Seed Oil
1 tsp Sesame Seed Oil
2 tsp creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp grated ginger




Chicken:
I actually made my chicken in the crock pot for this salad. I added a splash of soy sauce, a splash of chicken broth, and a pinch of grated ginger. I cooked it on low for 3 hours. That's it. Then I chopped it up and threw it on top, super simple, super tasty!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Peanut Asian Salad Dressing...

NOTE: I have updated the last two posts with pictures, sorry I posted them without pictures initially, someone has been doing a hack job on my blog and stealing my recipes, pictures and posts... lame huh??? Anyhow, without further a-do... here's the latest:


The other night I was in the mood to mix things up a bit from my ordinary salad dressings and think outside the box :) So... I came up with this tasty dressing for on top of an "Asian Style" salad. I have made it 3 times since, changing it a bit each time, but I have finally landed on the "official one". I will post the salad recipe tomorrow, but for now I will tempt you with the dressing...


Ingredients:
1 TBSP Soy Sauce
1 TBSP Rice Vinegar
2 TBSP Grape Seed Oil
1 tsp Sesame Seed Oil
2 tsp creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp grated ginger


Directions:
Combine, shake and serve over Asian Flare Salad or as a dipping sauce for grilled chicken tenderloins.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sauteed Green Beans...



Super simple, so fresh, so crisp, compliments anything perfectly. You can't go wrong.

Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh green beans, ends trimmed
2 cloves garlic, minced
a drizzle of expeller pressed coconut oil
sea salt
pepper
Directions:
After rinsing your green beans, discarding small or shriveled ones, trimming the ends and cutting them into bite sizes, toss them in boiling water to blanch them for 2-3 minutes. Then throw them right into a skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of expeller pressed coconut oil and freshly minced garlic cloves. Toss every few minutes for 5-6 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like them. Season with sea salt & pepper and serve! Enjoy!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sweet Rosemary & Lemon Salmon

Ok, here's a keeper.... if you like fish and you like flavor and you are feeling up for something new and fun- here's your ticket! We tried this recipe out the other night and it was great, a fun treat if you wanna break away from your regular simple fish!


We did this recipe on the BBQ and we used a Cedar Plank to give it a smoked flavor. It turned out very tasty... here's what you do! (If you don't have a plank or don't want to use one, follow these cooking directions, it should turn out just fine!)


Ingredients:
2 TBSP honey
1 TBSP lemon zest, finely grated
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely minced
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 lb. salmon stakes


Directions:
If you use a cedar plank, you need to soak it for at least an hour, 2 if you have the time, and you can to do that by fill a roasting pan and submerging the plank under water (with a glass or some other heavy object) letting it soak for a while so it doesn't torch while on the grill :)


Then place your salmon stakes on the plank with the skin side down, and mix your marinate in a small bowl. Spoon your marinate on top and let it sit for 15 minutes, not too long for fish, you can over marinate it. After 15 minutes, take the plank to the BBQ and over med-high heat, grill it for about 20 minutes or until the fish looks cooked and the fat starts to surface to the top (it will depend on how thick your steaks are). Remove the plank from the grill and let the fish rest for 5 minutes on the plank before serving. Remove skin before putting it on the plate... but you already knew that :)


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fresh Apple Spinach Juice



When I left for college, my mom gave me her old "Juice Man" juicer from Costco when she replaced hers with a more upscale one. I was happy to accept the gift :) I still have it, and from time to time I think about upgrading mine as well, but with 2 little kids in tow, I don't have as much time as I would like to juice, so my ol' faithful Juice Man still does the trick when I bust him out every blue moon!

Now, when making fresh juice (or smoothies for that matter), you should consume all of it within 8 hours to gain total health benefits. So, if you make a larger batch than what you can consume, freeze it in canning jars and take one out the night before you drink it. Fresh juice is best consumed in the morning when you wake, to be the first thing to go through your system and give you energy throughout the day. If you have a juice man or access to one, try this recipe out!


This has been one of my staple juices since college. I have always recommended this juice combo to people who tell me they (or their children) can't "go" and seem to be a little clogged up. (more on that topic below!) Whether that's you or not, this sweet treat & nutrient dense juice is a delicious option for a fruit & veggie combo that is sure to leave you feeling energetic and revitalized!

Ingredients:
2-3 Granny Smith Apples
1 bunch spinach

Directions:
Wash and slice your apples, rinse your spinach, and send it all through a juicer! Enjoy a nice fresh, frothy glass of homemade juice!

More Info on being "clogged up"...
For some reason, that is probably the most popular question or topic I have heard over the years, and for some reason people love to ask ME about it! I really think a steady diet of fruits and veggies with limited process food will make most systems pretty regular, but if not, here are some things you can try to combat the clog-ation :)
  • REAL Apple Juice: This is the easiest thing to do, I usually recommend this to people when they tell me their kid hasn't gone in a few days... now, when I say REAL apple juice, I don't mean Motts or some other see-thru brand, that's NOT real apple juice, it's made from concentrates and is very high in sugar, not to mention it doesn't contain any pectin and pectin is what gets things a' moving. If you get a fresh squeeze apple juice, one that's dark and almost cloudy or NOT see-thru, or better yet the apple spinach combo above, that will unclog things fairly quickly and effectively. Look for REAL Fresh Squeezed Apple Juice in the refrigerated isle, if it's not refrigerated, it's not real! (Check out Trader Joe's, theirs is delicious!)
  • Flax seed: This is a great thing to take daily if you are trying to regulate your insides. This will get you so regular, you will go like clockwork, first thing upon waking, it's that great. The fiber and roughage that flax seed packs is super for your pipes! Simply get flax seeds and grind them in a coffee grinder (or buy the pre-ground ones, but they don't have the same shelf life or "umpf" that the whole seeds have, but none the less, they still work) and mix them in an inch or two of Pineapple Juice. Pineapple juice has a certain enzyme that aides in digestion and works wonders when combined with the Flax. If you need a little more "umpf" add a TBSP of Aloe Vera Juice, and you'll really be moving! You can also add flax seeds to baby food (small amounts will do the trick) or to smoothies, see here for details.
  • Probiotics: These things are ESSENTIAL! If you are going to take any supplement, take PROBIOTICS!! The "PRO" meaning "good" and the "BIOTIC" meaning bacteria which means that you are introducing your digestive tract to ample "good bacteria" every time you take this suppliment. Not only that, but if your digestive tract can continue to stay in the "positive zone" with bacteria, you will be less likely to get sick or ill. Did you know that most diseases begin in the gut?? Good enough reason alone to be getting all the good bacteria you can into your gut to fight off the bad bacteria, right??? See Dr. Furhman's site for a great Probiotic, or check out Nature's Way for a super probiotic for babies and kids. Is your infant gassy or constipated?? Dip their pacifier in probiotic and help their tummy's regain a positive balance, it's completely safe for all ages.
  • And at the risk of sounding repetitive, if you or your kids don't empty your bowels at least once a day or if you have to strain (too graphic??? well, let's face the facts!) you need to increase your fruits, veggies, legumes, beans, nuts, and water intake and reduce your sugar & refined foods.... that's a quick fix as well!
**Hope that helps, and I am sure.... I won't be getting any comments on this post! HA!

Monday, July 25, 2011

BBQ'd Turkey Burgers....

Hello again! We've had some fun summer adventures and visitors lately, and I haven't had time to post, but I have got lots of fun, new recipes to share so stay tuned!!!

Now, I not trying to take any credit on this one, I didn't invent turkey burgers of course, this is one of those posts that's supposed to help you out when you got strolling thru recipes to try to desperately find something to make tonight... or at least that's how it works for me. If I log it as a meal, then when I am planning, it jogs my ol' brain and gets put on the list and is usually under a day that says "something quick and easy!" Hope it works in the same manner for you, because this one should definitely be on the summer meal schedule! Fast, easy, effortless and enjoyed by all!

Ingredients:
Turkey patties, either premade or formed by you with 1 lb. ground turkey
s & p & garlic (or garlic powder)
buns of your choice
avocado (a MUST in my book)
red leave lettuce
thinly sliced red onion
tomato
ketchup & mustard or BBQ sauce

Directions:
If you are making your own patties, you can season your pound of meat with s & p & fresh minced garlic, then knead it all together by hand in a large bowl or you can season them afterwards (which doesn't require you to get your hands dirty!). Then split your pound of ground turkey into 4-5 sections and roll each section into a ball, push them down to make patties. Vo-la. If you haven't yet seasoned them, do that with s & p & garlic powder, and BBQ for a few minutes on each side, these cook quickly and are great for last minute meals! Add your condiments and enjoy!

***Avoiding carbs or wheat?? Try wrapping your burger in red leaf lettuce!***

Friday, July 15, 2011

Green Bean & Sweet Corn Salad

Here's another light, fresh, and summer-happy salad to enjoy. You could easily grill up some chicken and serve this along side as your meal for the evening. Maybe add some kidney beans and have a great vegetarian salad for lunch or dinner! Enjoy this salad while the vegetables are plentiful and in season!

Ingredients:
3 ears of sweet corn, cooked & cut off the cob
1.5 lbs of fresh green beans, washed & trimmed
1 heirloom tomato, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
10-12 leaves fresh basil, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
s & p
olive oil
red wine OR balsamic vinegar


Directions:
Bring a large pot water to boil and shuck your corn. Boil your 3 ears of corn for about 5-7 minutes until cooked, remove them from the pot but keep your water boiling. After trimming your green beans end's off, cut them into bit size 1 inch pieces, and put them in the boiling pot for 5 -7 minutes. Cook until tender, and drain. Set the flat side of your corn on the cob on a cutting board and cut off the kernels. Add the green beans, corn kernels, diced tomato (I used half of an heirloom), bell pepper, red onion and 3 cloves garlic to your bowl and toss. Add a drizzle of olive oil (about 3 TBSP) and s & p and your choice of vinegar. For a lighter flavor use red wine, a stronger more flavorful burst- use balsamic. Serve warm or chilled, delicious either way!

With Balsamic Vinegar added