Monday, September 21, 2015

{Recipe ReDux} Fantastic Freezer Meals: Curried apple carrot soup!

Share your tips and tricks for making one – or more freezer meals. It’s the end of the gardening season for some of us; let’s store away that produce in heat-and-eat-from-the-freezer-meals. Show how convenient healthy freezer breakfast, lunches or dinners can be!

Fall is definitely my favorite season of the year. What's not to love? Sweaters, soup, crock pots, fall produce....yummy!

You know what I don't like? Wasting food! This is a great recipe to use up some "past prime" carrots, apples, onions or all three. No need to chuck them into the trash can, use 'em up in soup!

Curried Apple Carrot Soup
  • 2 pounds carrots, chunked
  • 1 onion, chunked
  • 3 small apples, chunked
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 to 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 can coconut milk or cream
Special equipment
  • Slow cooker
  • Immersion blender
Place all veggies and spices into a bag and chuck into your freezer. Ready when you are!

On your cooking day, place veggies and stock into crock pot and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low until veggies are very tender. 
Puree with a hand blender (aka stick blender, immersion blender) until smooth. Add coconut milk and puree again. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. 

Kid tip: let them help with the immersion blender. It is a lot of fun and more likely that they'll try the soup!

Kid contest: use the leftover coconut milk to draw designs or letters into their own bowl of soup. 

Ready to stock up your freezer with other healthy, delicious recipe? Check out the links below :)

As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy!
(Please note that this is a closed link-up for Recipe ReDux posts only. Any links added to this collection for non-ReDux posts will be deleted.) 

Monday, September 14, 2015

School lunch ideas

Back to school is in full swing! Here are a few ideas of what things to pack that are fun, easy to eat but also healthy.

Gluten-Free banana bread
Grapes on skewers
Sliced baby cucumbers
Hard boiled egg.
Brown rice cake with peanut butter and pumpkin seeds
Sliced carrots
Fresh Strawberries
Applesauce squeeze (no added sugar)

Ants on a log
Sweet potato chips (no added sugar)
Turkey lunch meat with no nitrates
Fresh grapes and blueberries

Thursday, September 10, 2015

School lunch ideas

Back to school! An exciting time that can also be a bit daunting with establishing new routines, figuring out where to go and when to be there and getting homework done. Don't forget about lunch! A healthy lunch is an important prep to help you child do their best in each class. 

All lunches are clean eating, gluten-free, dairy free and refined sugar free. What are you packing for lunch?

Aidells brand Apple Chicken Sausage, leftover from the grill and skewered with apple chunks.
Baby carrots
Peas (from frozen)

Leftover roasted potatoes
Broiled lamb cubes
Leftover steamed broccoli with olive oil and salt
Homemade ketchup 
Nitrate free turkey lunch meat
Fresh veggies
Gluten free crackers

Friday, August 21, 2015

{Recipe ReDux} Back to the Dinner Table: Mustard Lime Chicken

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday/vacation season, August is the time many families get ‘back to routine.’ Show us your favorite recipe to help families get ‘back to the dinner table.’ It might be a favorite family recipe from your childhood that you’ve ReDuxed; or maybe it’s your family’s current favorite. Let’s all gather back at the table!

My life has been really wonderful lately and super swamped! My husband and I just closed on our first home last week and have been busy little bees making it our own. Needless to say we have been very busy these past few days. We have a short window of time to do as many projects as possible before we move in next weekend. Wish us luck!

Our biggest project has been tearing up carpets and installing our own hardwood floors. They're pretty cool actually; the pieces link together like puzzle pieces and make it pretty simple to do on your own. We have finished my future office and will tackle the bedrooms and hall over the next week. That plus painting, ordering furniture, updating a bathroom, getting a new garage door. Whew.

It is a challenge to prioritize cooking when juggling a new job and a new house with a mile-long task lists and to be honest, some days have been better than others. I really enjoyed this chicken recipe because it was really flavorful, really easy and is something that could be assembled in a bag to marinate the night before.

Don't feel pressure to cook more than you have to. This dish is really great with some veggies and dip. 

Mustard Lime Chicken

  • 2 pounds of chicken, cubed, or just use chicken tenders and call it a day
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/3 cup dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  1. Place chicken cubes/tenders in a large ziplock bag. Add mustard, olive oil, salt, pepper and honey. Toss to coat well.
  2. Place in fridge for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors marry, but overnight is a great option to prep ahead!
  3. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place chicken on top, evenly spaced. Sprinkle almond meal on top and bake for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad

This recipe is a great side dish at dinner, a lovely lunch to make over the weekend and pack during the week or even for breakfast with an egg on top. Enjoy!

Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked with 2 cups water
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 roma tomatoes
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons cumin, to taste
  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  2. Preheat oven. Peel and cube sweet potato. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper, smoked paprika and cumin. Roast 30-40 minutes or until tender and browned. 
  3. Toss quinoa with corn, cooked sweet potato, black beans, tomato, chopped cilantro, zest and juice from lime and a bit more olive oil. 

Feel free to top with cubes of avocado, chicken, etc.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Chocolate Brownie Cake

It is funny how often folks ask about my sweet-eating habits as soon as they find out that I am a Registered Dietitian. Of course I eat treats once in a while - just not all the time :)

For my new job at Brain Balance, I have been experimenting with gluten-free, dairy free baking that uses honey or maple syrup for sweetness. I thought that this cake turned out great! It was great as is with my afternoon cup of coffee but I also think it would be nice with some chocolate ganache on top - your pick!

Chocolate Brownie Cake
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 bar baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray a round or square pan with non-stick spray.
  3. Mix all ingredients and spread into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

{Recipe ReDux} Fresh from the garden: Tomatoes + eggs for breakfast

"The season of bountiful produce has arrived. Whether your produce comes from the Farmers Market, a CSA share, or a plot of dirt out back, show how you are using fresh July fruits or veggies. And if you have gardening successes – or failures – please share!"

Good quality food tastes better. I think that one reason why Americans tend to use a lot of sauces and condiments is because we start with inferior ingredients.

Tomatoes are a great gate-way produce to high quality, delicious food. There is just no comparing the pinkish softballs sold in January to a tomato plucked from the vine in your backyard or purchased at your favorite farmers market.

When you have produce that is just that good, you don't need to do a lot. This is a favorite summer breakfast of mine. You get great flavor, you are getting veggies in at breakfast, and it is ready super quick. What's not to love?

Of course, you're welcome to try this quick meal anytime of the day :)

Tomatoes + Eggs 
  • 1 beautiful tomato
  • 1-2 eggs, local preferred
  • Pinch of fresh herbs (I used basil, oregano and rosemary)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  1. Slice your beautiful plate. Inhale that delicious aroma.
  2. Preheat your skilled over medium-high heat and drizzle in a bit of olive oil. 
  3. Cook your egg(s) to perfection and slide onto your tomato slices.
  4. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, salt and pepper. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Book review: Still Alice by Lisa Genova

I just finished this wonderful book and couldn't wait to tell you about it. I knew that the movie adaptation was something I was interested in seeing, but as the book is usually better than the movie, I wanted to start with the original story.

Lately my husband is going to bed earlier than I am able to (poor thing wakes up at 4:45 each morning!) and so I was experimenting with different flashlights to read with so that his slumber is undisturbed. The best solution is a headlamp with a red light. Not only is it highly fashionable (ha!), it allows me to keep both hands on this riviting read.

Back to the book.

Still Alice is a first person account of a women with tenure at Harvard, a career in linguistics, a husband and three adult children. Each chapter is one month of Alice's life. What kicks off as small forgetful moments of forgetfulness that Alice wishes to write off as being overworked, over stressed or menopause snowballs into a devastating diagnosis: Alzheimers at the age of 50.

As the months progress, so too does her illness. She copes and adapts in different ways and so too does her family. The disease progresses in spurts, changing course at times but eventually continues downhill. There is no cure, there is no stopping it.

Lisa Genova tells a tale that makes it too easy to picture yourself in Alice's shoes. It is terrifying. She also gently reminds us that people are always people, even if they are becoming just a shadow of their former self. Working in a hospital, I got frustrated on the patents' behalf when caregivers would talk about and around a person sitting in the same room.

This is a wonderful, important novel to read and I highly recommend it. While my husband was fast asleep, I was crying to the red light of my headlamp. I couldn't put it down to finish it another time, I had to stick with Alice until the bittersweet end. I hope you will too.

What are you reading and would you recommend it?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Greek Style Lamb and Kale Salad + Giveaway!

 Thank you to Mountain States Rosen for sponsoring this post 
as well as the sweepstakes!

When you think of lamb, do you think of fancy sit-down meals and holiday feasts?
Isn’t lamb complicated to cook? Don’t we all have buckets of spare time to prepare complicated meals every night? Just kidding, I don’t have time for that either! I seek healthy, filling recipes that can be eaten more than once. Packable for lunch? Even better!  In a time of burrito bowls and long commutes, it is time to shake off that fussy reputation and enjoy lamb on the go.
Not only is lamb delicious, it packs a great nutritional punch as a lean source of protein, B12 as well as minerals: niacin, selenium and zinc. Did you know that selenium and zinc both support our immune system? Great thing to remember next flu season!  And there is five times more omega 3 in lamb than in beef--something that many of us are not getting adequate amounts of in the US.
I don’t eat a ton of meat, but when I do, I focus on sustainably raised animals. You are what you eat, right? I actually like to take it a step further and say, “You are what your food ate.” When plants and animals are raised in a responsible manner and as nature intended, the food is healthier and tastier. The lamb I serve is raised sustainably, as nature intended.  Shepherd’s Pride lambs graze on wild grasses, herbs and flowers, are never, ever administered any antibiotics or added hormones and are minimally processed with no added ingredients.

Greek Style Lamb and Kale Salad
Makes 8 delicious meal-sized servings

Broiled Lamb
  • 1 Shepherd’s Pride or Cedar Springs butterflied leg of lamb, 2.5-3 lbs, fat trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large bunches of kale, de-stemmed and chopped into thin slivers
  • 4 cups finely sliced purple cabbage
  • 2 cucumbers, cubed
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 cans chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

  1. Toss cubes of lamb with marinade in a resealable container or zip-top plastic bag. Make sure all cubes are well coated. Place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight to allow flavors to marry.
  2. Preheat broiler and position oven rack 4-6 inches from heating element. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil or coat with non-stick spray.
  3. Place lamb cubes on tray. Broil cubes for 5 minutes. Remove tray from oven and pour out any accumulated liquid. Turn lamb cubes to ensure even cooking and broil 3-5 minutes further until browned, has golden edges and internal temp reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tip: skewer several cubes onto thermometer probe for accurate temperature reading.
  1. Toss all salad ingredients together in large bowl. Add lamb cubes (delicious warm or chilled) and enjoy.

Note: this salad will keep for several days, dressing and all, without wilting! Enjoy as a delicious picnic or make your lunch for several days all at one time!

Lamb Rocks Hammock Sweepstakes sponsored and made possible by Mountain States Rosen and the American Lamb Board.  

Enter here!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Guest Post: The Power of Choline

Bitarte de Choline, Chlorure de Choline, or Choline Bitartrate, doesn’t matter what you call it, Choline is an essential nutrient that can help with just about anything.  
Choline chemically acts similarly to a B vitamin, meaning that it is used in many chemical reactions in the body.  Produced in the liver, Choline is exceptional in assisting the nervous system and decreasing inflammation in the respiratory system on a daily basis.

Increase your choline intake by eating foods such as muscle meats, fish, nuts, beans, peas, spinach, wheat germ, eggs, and even liver if you are feeling brave.  

Why increase choline intake you ask?  On top of the basic bodily functions it assists in above, choline also is used as treatment for liver diseases such as chronic hepatitis, and cirrhosis, depression, memory loss, dementia, cancer prevention, lowering cholesterol, and even treating schizophrenia.  Furthermore, bodybuilders use choline to delay fatigue, and pregnant women use choline to prevent neural tube defects.  

Doses of choline when taken orally range between 500-100mg three times daily for adults.  The consumer should respect dosages because over-consumption can causes excessive sweating, gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, and vomiting.  

Check out this delicious choline-rich  recipe below! Serve with a side of peas or spinach for an added dose of choline.

Sun Dried Tomato Salmon

  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ lbs. salmon steak with skin
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  1. Preheat a grill to high.
  2. In a small food processor, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pulse until a smooth paste forms.
  3. Rub the salmon on both sides with the oil. Coat a piece of foil with cooking spray and lay on a grill rack. Place the salmon on the foil, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the fish is opaque. Top with the sun-dried-tomato mixture and serve.

Recipe adapted

Guest Post by Madison!
"Nutrition and health have always been a passion of mine and I am lucky enough to apply this interest by majoring in Nutrition with a focus in Dietetics and minoring in General Business at Miami University." - Madison, Grass Roots Nutrition Intern

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sloppy Joe's with Welch's Grape Juice {No added sugar}

I received free coupons for Welch's grape juice. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe challenge and am eligible to win prizes. 
I was not additionally compensated for my time.

Did you eat Sloppy Joe's as a kid? I loved them, and I am sure that my mom liked making them too because they're super simple to make. Her version used sauce from a can combined with the usual beef, onions and peppers.

I'm mixing things up to take advantage of the nutrition boost from concord grapes - naturally sweet and full of powerful polyphenols that helps keep us healthy at every cell. These are called antioxidants and I like to think of them as my personal ninjas.

Sloppy Joe's with Welch's Grape Juice

  • 2 cups Welch's concord grape juice (or 1/2 cup frozen 100% juice concentrate, thawed)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Sloppy Joe's
  • 1 pound ground turkey, beef or vegetable crumble substitute
  • 1/2 of one large onion, diced
  • 1/2 of one large green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  1 package whole grain hamburger buns
  1. In a medium sauce pan, bring grape juice to a simmer and continue to cook until reduced to 1/2 cup. If using concentrate, skip to step two.
  2. Add all sauce ingredients to sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally to prevent the sauce from burning.
  3. Preheat a large skillet to high heat and add olive oil, diced onions and diced peppers and cook for a few minutes or until browned on the edges. Add meat or meat substitute and continue to cook until meat is done. Pour sauce into skillet and toss to coat. Serve on whole grain buns.
Know your farmer, know your food: meet Tim Grow, one of the family farmers who raises concord grapes for Welch's!
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