Archive | May, 2013

Zesty Lentil Salad

30 May

The lady who brought this fresh salad to our group actually grows a very large herb garden and so she allowed us to partake of it. The fresh herbs combined with zesty lime and Garam Marsala was just excellent. The lentil of course are just bursting with nutrition, fiber and protein so thanks for sharing!

One bag of lentil cooked in chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 – 1 white onion chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
1-2 tomatoes seeded and chopped
1/2 C. fresh chopped parsley
1/2 juiced lime
1/2 tsp. Garam Marsala

Cook lentils according to package instructions. Add parsley, lime and Garam Marsala. — Submitted by Reni Erskine



Clean-Eating Breakfast Parfait

30 May

A clean-eating, quick breakfast with protein, whole grains, and a touch of sweetness from fresh fruit fiber.

Fat Free Greek Yogurt
Berries: blueberries plus strawberries
Bare Naked Vanilla Almond Crunch Granola

Layer in parfait cup starting with yogurt, berries, yogurt, berries and top with granola. Simple, fast and delicious.— Submitted by Kate Wilson


Quinoa Breakfast Casserole

30 May

6 eggs
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. low-fat cottage cheese
1 C. cheddar cheese, divided
1 C. cooked quinoa
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. mineral sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a medium baking dish with olive oil spray. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, Add in milk and beat until combined. Stir in red pepper, sea salt, black pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning. Add cottage cheese, quinoa, and half of cheddar cheese. Pour into baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. If desired brown top by placing under broiler for 2 or 3 minutes.
Lighten it up: Use 3 eggs and 6 egg whites. Use nonfat milk, nonfat cottage cheese. Reduce the cheddar to 1/2 cup and use low-fat.
Vegan: Leave out the eggs and use 2 cups non-dairy milk and 1 cup silken tofu, 2 Tbsp. tahini and 1/2 C. nutritional yeast. Combine well in blender. Use vegan cheeses and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. –Submitted by Betty Archer


Banana Strawberry Muffins

30 May

The thing about sprouted wheat flour is that your body is able to process it more like a vegetable as far as nutrition and digestion than a grain which just makes yummy muffin eating a little healthier.
2 Eggs
1/2 C. Unsweetened Applesauce
1/4 C. Canola Oil
3/4 C. Packed Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
3 Bananas, mashed
4 drops Doterra Cinnamon E.O. (could maybe use cinnamon extract)
1 drop Doterra Wild Orange E.O. (or orange extract)
2 C. Sprouted Wheat Flour
1 C. Fresh or Frozen Strawberries, sliced
Mix first 7 ingredients well. Stir in E.O.’s with a spoon; mix well. Then add flour. When mixed, add sliced strawberries. Spoon into greased or lined muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown or until tops of the muffin spring back when pressed lightly. Makes 12 servings.— Submitted by Marcia Marshall


Baked Beans and Swiss Chard

30 May

For a salad greens this was a very hearty salad and could certainly work as a main course. You have the smokey meat/bean flavor of a main course chili combined with the energy and vitamin boost of green food. Loved it!

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch Swiss Chard or Mustard Greens, stems removed, leaves chopped
1/2 C. Diced smoked turkey or lean ham
1 – 15 oz. can Great Northern Beans, drained slightly
2 – 15 oz. cans Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed well
1/4 C. Chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion celery, carrot, garlic and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper; cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-soft, about 7 minutes.
Add the greens, meat and 2 Tbsp. water to the skillet; cooking, stirring, until the greens wilt slightly, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice and simmer about 5 minutes. Add the pinto beans and the Great Northern Beans with their liquid. Add parsley, thyme and oregano and simmer just to heat through. — Submitted by Marcia Marshall


Brown Rice Salad

30 May

Another one from our Healthy Eats Group. I really liked the contrast of textures and little salty, nuttiness combined with the sweetness of craisins and corn.

2 C. Cooked brown rice
1 can corn
1 red pepper, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
3/4 C. Dried cranberries
1 carrot, grated
3 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 C. Roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 C. Roasted sliced almonds
Combine above ingredients then mix dressing below and toss together.
1 clove garlic
1/2 C. Olive oil
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
— submitted by Mindy Sturgell


Low Carb Cabbage Rolls

17 May

For our Healthy Eats Group this month I found this great recipe on and decided that I could make it better like most recipes start out. I decided to replace the rice it suggested using with steamed and minced cauliflower to reduce the carb content. I also decided to kick it up a notch in terms of seasoning and what do you know it was a hit. My approach to cooking is like an ongoing scientific project and so while the outcome of one test may have been very good I am always looking to one up myself next time which explains my additional suggestions. I am sure there will revamps of this recipe and I will come back and update as needed.

12 cabbage leaves from one large steamed head of cabbage (I like to core the head of cabbage at the bottom and then just peel off 12 leaves. You could also use sheering scissors and just snip them off. I throw them into boiling water for two minutes so they soften but retain their color. I shred the rest to make fish tacos later in the week.)
1 cup of steamed, minced cauliflower or you can just use cooked rice. (An easy way to do cauliflower is to just cut off a third of a head, wash, mince till it looks like rice, measure out 1 1/2 C. Then cook in microwave for 3 minutes – it will shrink to 1 cup.)
1/2 C. onion minced
1 Tbsp. garlic minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh ginger grated
1 1/2 lb. lean ground turkey
1 egg
1/4 C. fat free milk
1 1/4 tsp. pepper or to your preference
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Worcester sauce

Mix all ingredients together until well integrated. Scoop 1/4 C. worth of meat mixture and place in middle of softened cabbage leaf and fold in ends like a burrito, place in bottom of a crockpot. You’ll have 12 -14 cabbage rolls; cover it all with the following sauce:
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. Stevia brown sugar blend (can substitute with 2 Tbsp. regular brown sugar or can leave out altogether next time if I add the following seasonings instead.)
(If avoiding sugar and Splenda you could add the following instead: 1-2 Tbsp. of oregano, basil and 1-2 tsp. garlic powder and one small can of tomato paste.) I may cut the sauce topping in half next time to dry it up a bit. It also helps to not overcook the veggies involved before placing in crockpot.
Cook in crockpot on low for 8-9 hours.
I would serve these rolls on a bed of brown rice with extra sauce for kids but for me I would mince up the rest of the cauliflower until it is rice like and serve it on top of that with extra sauce. To make it even easier to prepare you could make up cabbage rolls night before, keep in fridge and just put it in the crockpot in the morning, cover with sauce and set on low.— submitted by Melissa Campbell









Book Recommendation: “The Relaxation Response” — very Zen

16 May

I just love it when I read a book and it just ties back to something within my very core that I’ve always known to be true but then someone goes a does a bunch of research with monkeys and human test subjects to give that eternal truth scientific backing.
“The Relaxation Response,” written by Herbert Benson, M.D. and first printed way back in the ’70s and then updated and printed again and again does just that, back eternal truths. Benson, a cardiologist originally was just looking into various avenues of helping his patients recover and prevent further heart problems. He was finding all kinds of problems with the side effects of the blood pressure medication he was prescribing his patients and eventually stumbled upon meditation as a treatment for lowering blood pressure and preventing hypertension and other diseases. He talks about how they trained monkeys to control their blood pressure by turning on colored lights they’d been conditioned to react to. They continued their study with human subjects having them regularly practice meditation and relaxation practices and found after several weeks they all had a significant drop in blood pressure.
He sugests practicing meditation once or twice a day but not after eating a large meal, during meditation his subjects repeated the word, “one,” to drown out internal dialoge help them relax. Another technique for meditation is to chose a prayer from your religious practice to utter and drown out other thoughts. A quiet place is generally the best place to practice meditation but he says some prefer to do it on subways or trains as well, obviously the chanting would be internal in these situations.
I am a religious person and have always thought it was important to pray and meditate because it makes me feel better, calmer. After reading this book I had the thought that they commandment that God gave to pray always wasn’t really for his benefit, it’s not like he doesn’t already know what we need or want. I think perhaps he gave it to us, to help us feel better and prevent high blood pressure and eventually heart attacks. Interesting.
I found my copy of this book on Amazon, used for super cheap but I am sure they must have a version down at the local library since it’s been around long enough.


May-April Exercise Group Challenge

16 May

The Healthy Eats Exercise Challenge comes from the Sexy Leg Workout to get ready for swim suit season. It was posed to us from our sweet Kate Wilson and I hope everyone is feeling and seeing the results. I know I’ve been brutally sore post workout many times already this month. So swimsuit here I come!

20 squats
30 lunges
40 calf raises
50 second wall squat
100 jumping jacks
50 second wall squat
40 sumo squats
30 leg raises
20 squats

Asian Lettuce Wraps

16 May

This tasty dish was brought to our last health eats meet up by the beautiful Kate Wilson. It is low in carbs since it leaves out the traditional rice or noodles popular with so many Asian dishes. It was also very, very tasty. She got it from the very popular food blog Best Bites it is actually one of my personal favorite foodie sites as well and I had made this recipe previously for my four boys and they absolutely loved it!
2 tsp. canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger
1 lb. ground chicken (or turkey)
3 oz. mushrooms, finely chopped (8 small mushrooms)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 C. Bagged coleslaw mix or thinly shredded cabbage
1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained, rinsed, and finely minced
1/2 C. Thinly sliced green onions
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 lemon zested and juiced (3-4 Tbsp.)
1/2-1 tsp. Sriracha or other hot sauce optional
1/3 C. Roughly chopped cilantro
1-2 heads iceberg lettuce

Dipping/Drizzling Sauce
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 Tbsp. vinegar
3 Tbsp. Water
2 tsp. honey
1-2 tsp. finely minced ginger

Heat a very large skillet to medium-high heat on the stove top. When hot, add vegetable oil and then garlic and giner. Saute for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, and then add ground chicken, chopped mushrooms and kosher salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through. Remove any extra liquid from pan. Add cabbage, water chestnuts and green onions. Cook for about 2 minutes, until cabbage starts to wilt. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, the zest from the lemon and the lemon juice and hot sauce to taste. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro
To prepare dipping sauce, combine all ingredients and whisk to combine. Serve on lettuce leaf. Top with sauce.