Thursday, November 21, 2013

{Recipe ReDux} Merriment in the Mixes: Curried Lentil Soup with Dried Apples

It's that time of the year when we're looking for gift ideas! This months theme for the Recipe ReDux was gifts and mixes that we can do in jars. As a dietitian, I think that all foods can fit in a healthy diet, but the holidays can sometimes snowball out of control with all of the treats available. This is a delicious and wholesome gift that anyone can enjoy - it is vegetarian, contains no gluten and will keep up to a month in the jar.

One other nice thing about this particular mix is that nothing else is needed. While it isn't the end of the world for the mix to require other ingredients, I like that this one doesn't. Just add water, simmer and 25 minutes later dinner is served!

Curried Lentil Soup with Dried Apples
  • 2 quart jars with tight-fitting lids, or 4 pint jars
  • 1 pound red lentils
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons minced dried onion
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric 
  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 pound green lentils
  • 1/2 packages (5-ounce) dried apple rings, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley leaves

  1. In bottom of each glass jar, place 8 ounces red lentils; top with  1/2 teaspoons salt, 3 tablespoons dried onion, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 8 ounces green lentils, 1/2 cup apple pieces, and 1 tablespoon parsley, in that order. Close jars tightly and store at room temperature up to 1 month.
  2. Prepare labels with cooking instructions; attach to jars. Add these cooking directions to each label before giving as a gift: Place lentil soup mix in 3-quart saucepan with 7 cups water or low-sodium broth. Heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes 8 cups soup. 

Adapted from Good Housekeeping.

Check out these awesome other mix ideas from my fellow Recipe ReDux bloggers:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bridal Show at Music Hall this Wednesday from 6-9pm; come learn more about BrideBod!

At our booth, we will be offering discounts of the BrideBod service package as well as a la carte services. Admission to the show is free!

Monday, November 11, 2013

10 Easy Substitutions for a Healthier Lifestyle

Grass Roots Nutrition aims to put the focus back on the kitchen and cooking healthy meals in order to lead to a healthier lifestyle. Sounds hard, right? It doesn't have to be! Here are 10 easy-as-can-be substitutions that can put you on the path to a healthier lifestyle before you know it! So read up and see how many swaps you can make!

1.       Interval workout instead of a relaxed run: Try a run with sprinting intervals paired with recovery walks. The small recovery time will give you enough of a break that you will be able to work longer than you would just straight running, plus it will make you faster!
2.       Zumba instead of the elliptical: This upbeat dance workout will have you forgetting you’re even burning calories (that is, until you’re done and can’t catch your breath…or get out of bed the next morning!). The mix of cardio and strength training paired with fun, modern songs will blow that boring machine of the park any day of the week.
3.       Farmer’s market instead of grocery store: If that farmer’s market is coming to town, take advantage of it! You’d be amazed by how different fruits and veggies taste when they’re truly fresh and in season. Pick up some fresh veggies and bring them home to make a salad your whole family will enjoy!
4.       Whole fruit instead of fruit juice: You might think by pouring yourself a large glass of apple juice you’re fulfilling your daily recommendation of fruit, but by choosing an apple instead you get all the nutrients WITHOUT losing the fiber. So ditch the cup and go for the core!
5.       Raw spinach instead of iceberg: A salad is a good choice, However, you can make it even better by loading it with spinach (filled with iron!). If spinach is a new flavor for you, start by having a half iceberg-half spinach salad so you can work your way up to a full bowl of leafy greens.
6.       Brown rice instead of white rice: Make that Chipotle burrito, or anything else, as healthy as possible by choosing brown rice instead of white. Brown rice contains more nutrients, such as fiber, than white rice does.
7.       Eating lots of small meals instead of a few big ones: Society has set normal eating signs at approximately 8am, 12pm, and 5pm…but what if you’re hungry other times? Instead of waiting until these set eating times and binging out, eat small, healthy meals every two hours or so to keep yourself full and satisfied.
8.       To-go box instead of super-sized serving sizes: When you’re out to eat with friends or family, before you take a bite of yours-or someone else’s- meal, ask for a to-go box. Put half of your dish into the box and then eat, that way you won’t risk overeating. .
9.       Quick nap instead of energy drink: Next time you’re feeling down and tired, hop in bed for a quick power nap instead of chugging that red bull. Energy drinks contain tons of sugars and often lead to a crash later on. Even if you can’t fall asleep, just getting to relax all cozy in bed will replenish your energy.
10.   Gratitude instead of complaining: You can’t be healthy on the outside if you’re not healthy on the inside! When you have a negative thought or want to complain about something, instead think about something great in your life and be thankful for it! Remember how blessed you are and don’t take it for granted! 

Guest posting by Emily Iammarino, a freshman nutrition major at Miami University and current Grass Roots Nutrition intern.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Potato + Peanut Stew

This is a great stew to warm your belly on a chilly fall or winter's day. It has heart-healthy fiber and fats, has protein and veggies and is delicious. I served this filling stew with a mini whole wheat bagel and peanut butter and had a clementine and dark chocolate for dessert. Excellent lunch, indeed!

Potato + Peanut Stew
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of homemade or store-bought diced tomatoes, including the juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 2 teaspoons cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt (or to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 4 cups Vegetable stock  
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated Creamy peanut butter
  • 4 cups kale, chopped into small pieces
  • Chopped chives and chopped peanuts, for garnish
  1.  In a large stock pot, add ginger through stock and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Add kale and peanut butter. Simmer for a few more minutes until kale is wilted and peanut butter is well incorporated. Test that the potatoes and lentils are tender. 
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree soup. Leave some chunks!
  4. Serve in bowls and top with peanuts and chives if you wish.
Recipe adapted from Food52. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Guest Posting: It's time to learn about thyme!

Thyme Roasted Carrots


•2 tablespoons olive oil
•1 1/2 pounds carrots, cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch lengths
•1 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
•4 sprigs fresh thyme
•2 tablespoons unsalted butter
•1 tablespoon honey

Cooking Directions

•Preheat the oven to 450°F.
•Place a medium ovenproof sauté pan over high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the carrots, salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Add the thyme sprigs and butter, and drizzle with the honey.
•Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the carrots are golden and crisp-tender.
•Serve immediately.

Recipe by Emeril Lagasse

Where Thyme Come From?

Thyme, the perennial herb, originates in Southern Europe and is classified in the same plant as mint. There are 350 species in the genus Thymus. The name comes from Latin ‘Thymus” or Greek “Thymos” meaning spirit or smoke. It is pronounce “Time”

How is Thyme Grown?

Thyme prefers a mild climate but can survive temperatures below freezing. It tolerates cold better in well-drained soil. You can plant Thyme from the seed anywhere in the United States two to three weeks before your average date of last frost. It likes sandy loam soil and full sun to partial shade.

Harvesting Thyme

Thyme can be picked as needed. When drying thyme, harvest when the plants begin to bloom. Cut off the tops of the branches with four to five inches of flowering stems. After letting the thyme dry out, crumble the thyme and put into tightly capped jars.

It can also be used while it is fresh and just picked off the plant.

Thyme In Cuisines

Thyme is used frequently in Mediterranean, Italian and Provençal French cuisines. It is most popular in French cuisine for its use in bouquet garni, which is blend of herbs, good for soups and stocks. In Bouquet Garni, thyme is combined and blended with rosemary, marjoram, parsley, oregano and bay leaf for a great combination of flavors.

Thyme pairs well with lamb, poultry and tomatoes, and is often used in soups, stews, stocks and sauces. Whole sprigs of fresh thyme may be used when roasting meats and poultry or vegetables. If whole sprigs are used, after cooking, the stems must be removed because they tough and woody.

Six sprigs is usually equivalent to a tablespoon.

Flavor Of Thyme

There many varieties of thyme, the two types that are mainly used in cooking are common thyme and lemon thyme. Both of these types of thyme have a sweet, mildly pungent flavor. It is considered a great culinary herb due to its strong flavor value.

Health Benefits Of Thyme

Historically, thyme has been used as a remedy for chest and respiratory problems, Its volatile oils also increase its antioxidant activity. The essential oil is made partially of Thymol, which is a strong antiseptic, that before the arrival of modern antibiotics, was used to medicate bandages and soothe cuts. It is also widely used for its deodorant qualities and even included in some toothpastes.
This guest posting was written by Ariana Kulinczenko. Ariana is a dietetics student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. 

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