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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