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Friday, October 24, 2014

Black Bean and Tomato Stew



It was one of the first chilly fall days and ALL that I could think of was enjoying a hot and soothing bowl of chili. Because I had failed to plan that day and put the chili in the crockpot, I found myself looking in the refrigerator and pantry at 5:00 trying to find something that would satisfy my appetite. I came up with this dish that did the trick and took less than 20 minutes to prep and cook.
I suggest serving this stew over cooked quinoa, brown rice or sprouted whole grain pasta, it becomes a delicious sauce bursting with flavors due to all of the seasoning. If you have kids that are picky about onions, be sure to finely chop the onions. As you cook them, they will soften and blend into the tomatoes avoiding the crunchy texture that most kids (and some adults) dislike.
Most of the ingredients are spices along with black beans, onions and tomatoes. You can add more black beans for additional fiber and more protein, and increase the cayenne pepper if you like a more intense kick. You can easily add chicken or beef to this dish for the meat loving family. If you do not have quinoa, rice or sprouted grain pasta already prepared, be sure to begin cooking these before you begin prepping and preparing this meal.

Ingredients:
·         1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes (with juice)
·         1 can organic black beans (drained and rinsed)
·         1 medium onion, chopped
·         4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
·         ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
·         1 tsp. cumin
·         ¾ tsp. ground coriander
·         1 tsp. dried basil
·         ½ tsp. oregano
·         2 Tbsp. olive oil



 Directions:
1.       Heat skillet on medium high. Add olive oil, onions, garlic and spices. 
2.       Cook until onions are soft (approximately 4-5 minutes).
3.       Add tomatoes and black beans to skillet. Reduce heat to medium and bring mixture to a simmer. Allow to simmer for approximately five minutes.
4.       Remove from heat and serve over rice, quinoa or sprouted whole grain pasta.
That’s it! For more amazing whole food recipes, we suggest The Healthy Edge for over 300 recipes available to their online community. They even offer 7 days free to try it out and see if it’s a fit.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Healthy Halloween

So it’s that time of year again…the candy filled craziness of Halloween.  Many of you may remember our Candy Exchange method when it comes to the full bags of candy that many of our children will accumulate through Halloween parties and Trick-or-Treat.

We still implement the Candy Exchange method in our homes.  If the kiddos decide to trade in their candy, they get FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS to take to the Dollar Tree and roam the store picking out any five things that they feel, “they just can’t live without”.  The candy can then be donated to your spouse’s work place or literally thrown away.

Below you will find five fun and delicious options to keep Halloween entertaining (and healthy) for your kids.  They all would make perfect ideas for school parties or any Halloween party you are invited to or hosting.  We would love to hear your Halloween traditions and treat ideas! 

Healthy Halloween Ideas


 Spider Sandwich:  These is a great idea to surprise your kids with in their lunch.  Using whole grain bread and natural peanut or almond butter, you can cut the sandwich into a circle, use thin carrot slices for the legs and raisins for eyes.  Super fun and cute!



Banana Ghosts: By cutting bananas in half, they make the perfect ghost shape!  Use three chocolate chips or raisins and secure with your favorite nut butter to make the eyes and nose. 





Spider Eggs:  Turn regular grapes into fun spider eggs!  Simply put in a bag, print off a fun label and add a spider sticker or spider ring to give it a spidery affect!  Perfect for school parties!!





Monster Melon: This would be a great idea for older kids who enjoy anything to with vomiting (like boys of all ages).  Carve your mouth out of the watermelon, hollow out as much watermelon as you can and cut into chunks.  Add other fruits and have it spilling out of your mouth.  Use two cucumber slices, grapes (or whole olives) and a toothpick to secure the eyes.




Fruity Pumpkin Afro!  This is probably my favorite! This would be great for any Halloween party!  Could you imagine being the mother/father who supplied this fun treat at your kids class party?  Draw your face on the pumpkin, make your fruit skewers (enough for amount of kids that will be there) and secure them all around the top of the pumpkin to make it look like an afro.  This is also a perfect project to have your kids help create!

Happy Healthy Halloween!!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Butternut Squash Bisque

Butternut Squash is considered a winter squash, not because it is grown in the winter months, but because it is harvested in the fall and can last throughout the winter months.  You may not have the faintest idea what to do with this “winter” squash, but the options are plentiful!  From soups to desserts, butternut squash has wonderful health benefits and a delicious sweet taste!

This bisque has become a family favorite!  I cannot tell you the joy I felt when I served this bisque to my son and daughter and they asked if their was leftovers and if we could have it for lunch tomorrow in our thermos. Wow!  Total approval from a 5 and 7 year old!   Hope you enjoy this bisque as much as we do!

Butternut Squash Bisque

4-6 cups chicken broth
2-3 carrots, cut into small slices
2-3 celery stalks, cut into small slices
1 small sweet onion, cut into small pieces
1 large butternut squash, cut into 1 inch chunks
6 garlic cloves, minced (more or less depending on your preference)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle of nutmeg

1. In a large pan, add all ingredients.  Bring to a boil and continue boiling until vegetables are soft (approximately 20-30 minutes).
2. In batches, add mixture to a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Tip: We prefer our bisque thick so we do not use all of the broth.  If you like your bisque thinner, use most or all of the broth.


** To spruce it up a little, we sometimes will add 1 lb. organic sausage (browned in a skillet) and 1 ½ cup sweet corn.  Delicious!!


Monday, October 6, 2014

Quinoa and Chicken Crock Pot

As Summer comes to an end and Fall begins, our meal plans tend to shift also.  Instead of grilling out on hot days, we like to bring out the crock pot and let the aroma of what we are cooking fill the house.  The Healthy Edge Online Community offers many crock pot recipes that will have your family counting down the seconds until dinner time!

This is a recipe that was formed by using ingredients we had on hand. Most are staples that we always have in our refrigerator or pantry!  Feel free to season as you like and enjoy! 

Quinoa and Chicken Crock Pot


Ingredients
4 chicken thighs
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1 can organic black beans
1 can organic garbanzo beans
2 cans organic diced tomatoes
1 sweet onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic
6 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 green bell pepper, cut into small pieces
2 tsp.sea salt

Seasonings to taste (This depends on your preference; we used 1 Tbsp or more of each of the following. You can add more seasonings as you taste the dish after the chicken is fully cooked.)
Basil, Paprika, Thyme, Red Pepper Flakes, Coriander, Black Pepper

Directions

1. Put 1 Tbsp. olive oil in the bottom of crock pot. Use paper towel to spread. 
2. Lay chicken thighs on the bottom of the crock pot. 
3. Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth, onions, carrots, sea salt, garlic and spices. 
4. Cook on high for three hours. 
5. Stir to break up chicken thighs. Add quinoa. Let cook for additional 30 minutes. 
6. Turn crock pot to "warm" or "low" and add black bean, garbanzo beans and green bell pepper.
7. Let sit until ready to eat. 

This is amazing to add hot sauce too or Greek Style Yogurt as a topping. 


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lemon Garlic Chicken

Have you ever come across a recipe that you just HAD to try?  This recipe sparked my interest by featuring two of my favorite ingredients: garlic and lemon. Simple ingredients that pack a punch!
If you have children, I am sure that they love to help in the kitchen (that is if they are still young enough to want to help out mom).  I gave my daughter the job of trimming the green beans by snapping off the ends.  Some of the best memories are when you are creating something together with your children. This recipe provides a great opportunity to do just that along with creating something healthy and delicious to eat!

Let us know what you think!

Lemon Garlic Chicken

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound trimmed green beans
8 small red potatoes, quartered
4 chicken breasts (bones left in, with skin, about 3 1/4 pounds)


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.

2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them on top of the lemon slices. Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish or skillet on top of the green beans. Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the dish or skillet. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken.

3. Roast for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet. Place the beans and potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender. 


If you like the simplicity of this recipe, we encourage you to check out The Healthy Edge Cookbook for over 100 simple recipes, just like this one featuring all whole food ingredients and even gluten-free friendly! www.thehealthyedgecookbook.com.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

Garlic-Parm Chicken

Quick, healthy and unique dinners can be hard to come up with. Do you ever feel like you are making the same thing over and over again? Give your typical chicken dinner a makeover with this Garlic-Parmesan rub. Your house will smell delicious and your family will be counting down the seconds until dinner is served!

When cooking dinner, sometimes we can’t help but think about prep for the remainder of the week! It’s is great to be prepared. May we suggest to double the batch and cut the leftovers up to add to salads or wraps for your workday lunches! Quick and easy! Enjoy!

Garlic-Parm Chicken

1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup plain Greek Style yogurt
1 1⁄2 tsp garlic powder
1⁄2 tsp pepper
1⁄2 -1 tsp sea salt
4-5 organic chicken breast

1. Mix all ingredients together (except chicken).

2. Spread mixture over chicken, place on baking sheet.

3. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown and cooked through

Friday, September 12, 2014

No Bake Granola Bars

School is back in full swing and so are the kid’s appetites after a long day!  If you are a parent who tries pack your kids healthy and filling this one is for you. Kids are probably a bit hungry after a full day of using brainpower and not having the luxury to freely snack throughout the day.  What a great treat to welcome them home from school with these delicious No Bake Granola Bars from The Healthy Edge.  


Whether you pack them in your kid’s lunch, serve them while they do their homework at the kitchen table or grab them for the ride to soccer or football practice, these snack bars are perfect to satisfy and make your life less hectic.  Try crumbling these bars into a bowl and topping them with organic skim milk or organic yogurt for a delicious treat!  

No Bake Granola Bars
Makes about 14 bars

2 ½  cups whole rolled oats
¾ cup raw, unsalted pecan pieces
¾ cup raw, unsalted cashew pieces
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
1/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries (no sugar added)
6 Tbsp coconut oil
¾ cup evaporated cane juice crystals
1 tsp ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp honey

1.      In a large bowl, mix oats, nuts, coconuts and raisins or cranberries.
2.      In a medium saucepan, add coconut oil, cane juice crystals, cinnamon and honey.  Heat to nearly boiling and stir until smooth.  Remove from heat and add mixture to the rest of the ingredients.
3.      Using a wooden spoon, stir mixture together until well combined.
4.      Line a 7x11 inchh pan with parchment paper.
5.      Pour mixture into pan and press (using another sheet of parchment paper) to compact.  Chill in refrigerator for approximately 20-30 minutes until firm enough to cut.

*Store in an air tight container for up to one week.  Remember, if you have a gluten or wheat allergy; be sure that all canned and packaged products are manufactured in a gluten-free facility.  Contact the manufacturer for this information.


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