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Monday, March 31, 2014

Rosemary Lemon Chicken

A big part of my weekly routine includes preparing my family's food for the week.  On my Sunday afternoons, I am in preparation mode, trying to make the rest of the week as convenient as I possibly can.  This can include cutting up vegetables to have ready to snack on or put in salads.  Cooking chicken to have ready for salads and wraps.  Preparing fruit in snack accessible bags so the kids can grab and go.  Making granola for yogurt or cereal in the morning or bars for snacks on the go. Making a soup so I have lunch for the week. Whatever sounds good for that week, their are so many options and it really makes the week go smoother. 


By having foods easily accessible, I feel more prepared when the kids burst in the house screaming "I'm hungry" or when we have 5 minutes to get out the door and I still need to pack a snack bag to take with us. There have been weeks when I have not prepared and the difference in  my mood and stress level is extreme! 

I tried this chicken recipe as a dinner for my family.  It is very easy, all ingredients go into a slow cooker, and it  is ready to eat when you get home from a busy day.  The house smelled delicious and the chicken was moist and perfectly cooked.  The lemon and rosemary flavor that this chicken took on was a perfect addition to a salad.  And leftovers were put away in the fridge to use for lunch salads the rest of the week.  

This will defiantly go into our Sunday preparation box!  Enjoy!


Rosemary Lemon Chicken

4 boneless, skinless, organic chicken breast
1 cup chicken broth
1 lemon, thinly sliced
4-5 sprigs Rosemary
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste


In a slow cooker, place chicken breast, season with salt and pepper, add broth, garlic, sliced lemons and Rosemary.  Cook on high 4-5 hours or low 7-8 hours.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Slow Cooked Chicken and Lentils

Who out there doesn't LOVE crock-pot dinners?  I mean really, you throw everything together and let it cook.  Simple!  No matter what the day throws at you, no matter how crazy it may turn out to be, you know that at least one thing will go the way you want it to! And with this recipe, you can feel proud that that one thing that you have control over will be a nutritious and delicious dinner your whole family will love!  I know some of you maybe thinking but my kids will never eat lentils!  Well I have one of the pickiest little eaters there are and I got a thumbs up and an empty bowl on this one!


The Star Ingredient: Lentils!!
Lentils are inexpensive, easy to prepare and are very nutritional.  They are a rich source of folic acid, dietary fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, essential amino acids and trace minerals. Since lentils are low in fat and high in fiber, they can help get rid of cholesterol and reduce blood cholesterol levels. And they provide the same protein benefits as meat without the fat, calories and cholesterol that often accompany animal products. More nutritional benefits of Lentils


Slow Cooked Chicken and Lentils

1 large onion, diced
2 small or one medium carrot diced
¾ cup dried lentils
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 can (14.5 oz) organic chicken broth
1/8 tsp each salt and pepper
1 can organic stewed tomatoes: undrained
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp basil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 organic chicken thighs


Mix all ingredients together in a slow cooker.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours and enjoy!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hearty High Protein Meal



Brian and I love eggs and will use eggs as an option for breakfast, lunch and dinner (not all in one day of course). When it comes to dinner, eggs can be a simple and quick meal when you forgot to go to the grocery store on your way home from work or if you just want to feed your family a hearty high protein meal, but you need it to be easy.

This is a recipe that I threw together in less than 15 minutes and it fed us for dinner and breakfast the next morning. I love the combination of eggs, sweet potatoes and black beans to create a “stick to your ribs” kind of high protein meal. 

We topped this with our favorite Vegan cheese, Daiyaรข, (due to my dairy allergy) and we love to add hot sauce to our eggs.  You could also serve this dish with steamed broccoli or asparagus or a fruit salad. You can serve this in a corn tortilla for dinner or for a breakfast or lunch burrito.

Ingredients:
·       
    1 large sweet potato, chopped small
·         ¼ sweet onion, finely chopped
·         2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
·         1 ½ cup organic black beans
·         5-6 organic eggs
·         2 Tbsp. organic milk or milk substitute
·         1 tsp. thyme
·         ¼ tsp. cracked black pepper
·         2 Tbsp. olive oil
·         Shredded cheese or vegan cheese substitute (optional)


 
Directions:

1.       Heat olive oil, sweet potato, onions, garlic, thyme and black pepper in skillet over medium high heat until sweet potatoes and onions are soft. Stir often.
2.       Crack eggs in bowl and add milk. Whisk until well blended.
3.       Add black beans and eggs to skillet. Reduce heat to medium.
4.       Cook until eggs are cooked through.
5.       Top with shredded cheese and/or hot sauce and serve.


For more ideas for simple whole food recipes and high protein meals, we love The Healthy Edge Cookbook. They also offer four free recipes if you would like to see what the cookbook is all about.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cauliflower "Pancake" Patties

There are definitely certain foods that are harder than others to get your children to try (and like).  Even if your kids are great at trying new foods, one that can be difficult is cauliflower. We are excited to give you a new way to incorporate this into their diet…Cauliflower Patties.  Feel free to tweek them to fit your lifestyle and watch your kids get very excited as they watched you cook them.

Don’t be surprised that when you put these in front of your kids (and spouse) that they will think they are breakfast pancakes. They will be excited because who doesn’t LOVE pancakes? Not only will they pass the “look test”, but as a parent, it is most important for them to pass the taste test. We are almost positive that they will be hooked at first bite. They will be asking for another one before they even finish their first ones! This recipe is one for the recipe box. Enjoy from Super Food Sisters! We suggest serving this as a side dish with a side salad and piece of lean meat or with breakfast as a side to scrambled or over-easy eggs. 

Cauliflower "Pancake" Patties


1 head cauliflower
2 large eggs
1/2 cup organic cheddar cheese,  shredded
3/4 cup ground whole oats 
Seasonings to taste:
Garlic Powder
Cayenne Pepper
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Coconut Oil (or Olive Oil)


Directions:

1. Cut cauliflower into florets and boil in water until tender, about 10 - 15 minutes. Drain and mash while still warm.  

2. Stir in eggs, cheese, oats and seasonings. You may need to add more oats to receive the consistency you desire.  Mixture should be holding together and not soupy.

3. Coat the bottom of a griddle or skillet with oil of your choice over medium-high heat.  Drop the mixture by spoon fulls onto the griddle or skillet, pressing into patties with the back of your spoon so they are approximately 3 inches in diameter.  Cook until golden brown and set, about 3-5 minutes per side.  Keep each batch warm in the oven while you cook the rest.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Quinoa Salad


Quinoa is one of our favorite Super Foods!!  Full of everything your body needs in a day, fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, carbohydrates and protein and more!  AND...it's Gluten Free!!

This salad is a wonderful way to introduce people to quinoa.  Once you make it once, you may find doing like us and making double batches to have as side dishes through the week, serve on top of salads for lunch or just to have to snack on throughout the day!


The best part about this recipe is you can mix up the ingredients to your liking.  Add or omit ingredients to this recipe to make it your own!  This also makes a perfect side dish to take to work or family get togethers!  But be prepared to be asked for the recipe!

Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp ground cumin
6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp sea salt
3 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked peas
1 cup cooked black beans
6 green onions, chopped fine
1 large organic yellow or green bell pepper, stemmed and diced
1 large organic red bell pepper, stemmed and diced
1 1/2 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
3-5 oz organic feta cheese, crumbled (add as desired)

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, add quinoa, peas and black beans. 
2. Cut off about 3 inches from green tops of onions.  Chop finely.  Put into bowl along with bell peppers, parsley and feta cheese.  Mix all ingredients together.
3. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, cumin, salt and lemon juice. Whisk ingredients together thoroughly before pouring over salad mixture. Mix ingredients one last time before serving.

Tips:
For best results, cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least one hour before serving to enhance the flavors of this dish.
If you are going to serve this salad later, reserve the cumin/lemon dressing mixture in a separate container.  Just before serving, pour over the salad and mix well.
When preparing quinoa, be sure to wash the small seeds thoroughly before cooking to remove the bitter coating called saponin

Hope you enjoy!!





Thursday, February 6, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Treats

This year we welcome you try something different to surprise your loved ones with.  Instead of the boxed chocolates, candy kisses and candy hearts with "Be Mine" on them, try a home made card and these delicious chocolate treats!  The best way to show someone you love them is to put thought and time into what you give.  Show the special people in your life how much you love them with homemade Valentines this year!  

These Chocolate Treats also make wonderful birthday cake substitutes that are Gluten Free!!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw, unsalted almonds, soaked and skins removed
2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp whole flaxseeds, soaked
1 cup whole rolled dry oats
1/2 cup packed Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup organic raisins
4 Tbsp unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp honey
Dash of sea salt

Directions:

1. Combine almonds, flaxseeds, coconut and oats in a food processor.  Process until well combined.

2. Add dates, raisins, cacao or cocoa powder, honey, cinnamon and sea salt.  Continue to process until all ingredients are thoroughly blended.

3. Transfer mixture to a medium size bowl.  Using clean, bare hands, mold mixture into a ball approximately 1 1/2 inch in diameter. Continue molding ball into the shape of a heart.  Repeat process until entire mixture is utilized.

4. Lightly dust each treat with cacao or cocoa powder before serving.

Tips:

To improve their ability to be digested, soak flaxseeds and raw unsalted almonds separately in clean, pure water for at least 6 hours or overnight.  Specifically, place seeds and nuts in glass jars.  Cover nuts and seeds with 2:3 ratio of water.  Cover jars with lids while soaking.  Drain the water after soaking and the nuts are ready to use.  You will not need to drain the water from the flaxseeds.  Soaked almonds can easily be peeled with the fingers.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Black Beans in a Crock Pot


Black beans are very high in fiber, folate protein and antioxidants, along with numerous other vitamins and minerals.  Black beans can be used in a variety of ways as part of a Healthy lifestyle

Black Bean Salad

  •  Add to omelets.
  •   Add to salads. (Salad pictured can be found in  The Healthy Edge Cookbook)
  • Serve as a side dish to any meal topped with feta cheese.
  •  Add to soups.
  • Add to wraps or burritos.
  • Mix with tomatoes, avocado, greek style yogurt and brown rice for a delicious side dish.
  • A variety of recipes call for black beans.

Canned black beans can be convenient, BUT if you want to save a ton of money and sodium, using dried black beans is a great option!  

Let’s look a bit more closely at the cost savings of dried black beans versus canned black beans.   Who doesn’t want to save a buck or two at the store?  At our local grocer in the Midwest, a can of black beans (non-organic) (15 oz.) costs an average of about $0.74 (prices are much higher if you are buying organic) and a bag of dried black (16.5oz) beans costs about $1.47.  Now if you are thinking, wait a minute, the canned beans are cheaper!  Check this out: After cooked, a bag of dried beans equals about 3 cans of black beans.  So in this example, you're saving approximately 50% on your beans, and making a healthier choice!  

If you were comparing the prices for organic beans you are looking at a savings of around 75%!

If you are going to be using your beans right away, and you just want to prepare enough for one use, then check out How and Why to Soak Beans, Nuts and Seeds.  But if you REALLY want to maximize your time, then a slow cooker is the way to go. You can prepare enough beans to last you weeks or even months. 

By slow cooking your dried beans, they can conveniently be stored in serving size amounts in plastic freezer bags. Try storing 2-3 cups per bag.  Then, when you need them, you simply take them out of the freezer, transport them to a strainer and gently rinse them in warm water to de-thaw. You can also take a bag with frozen beans from the freezer and transport them to the refrigerator and let them thaw on their own. 


How To...
Slow Cook Black Beans
  1. Rinse the dried black beans in a strainer and pick out any debris. 
  2.  Place dried black beans in a crock pot. You can use anywhere from 5 or more cups of dried beans. There is no need to measure, just make sure black beans do not take more than ½ of the crockpot, since they will expand as they cook.
  3. Cover the black beans with water and add additional water until you have about 2 inches of water above the dried black beans. If you have the time, allow the beans to soak from 1 – 4 hours. 
  4. If you are cooking overnight, turn the beans on low and set time for 8 hours. If you are cooking during the day, you can turn the beans on high for 4 hours. If during the process, the beans look “dry” you can add more water.  
  5. Once the beans are cooked, turn off the crockpot and allow to cool.  Avoid stirring too much, so the beans do not break open and become mushy. 
  6. Transport the beans to a strainer to remove excess water. You can then place them in a container to store in the refrigerator or put in plastic bags and put in freezer for up to a month.
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