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Saturday, February 28, 2015

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

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Minestrone Soup



We would like to share with you a very special recipe shared with us by one of our Healthy Edge Community members.  This recipe was passed on to her from a very special woman, her mother. Thank you for sharing Diane!

Note from Diane: When you get all the ingredients in the pot in the beginning it looks fairly watery and like it might not taste that great but by the end of the three hours of cooking it all comes together and it is so rich tasting and satisfying and warm.   Enjoy!



Minestrone Soup


3 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 medium onions, diced
2 cups cauliflower
¼ cup pound green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch cubes
½lb cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 medium clove garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
3 Tbsp butter
3 ½ cups beef broth
1 ½ cups water
1 28oz can Italian plum tomatoes
½ tsp salt
½ tsp dried basil, crumbled
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
1 bay leaf
1 - 1lb can Cannellini beans

Directions

  1.  Heat oil and butter in 5 quart pan over medium heat.  Add onion, saute about 6 minutes.  Stir in carrots and cauliflower, saute 5 minutes.  Stir in celery and green beans, saute 5 minutes.  Stir in zucchini, saute 3 minutes.  Stir in cabbage and garlic, saute 1 minute.
  2. Chop tomato coarsely.  Add broth, water and tomato juice and tomatoes.  Stir in salt, basil, rosemary, pepper and bay leaf.
  3. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low.  Simmer covered stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 hours.  Add Beans.
  4. Uncover and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally until soup is thick, about 30 – 40 minutes longer.  Remove bay leaf before serving.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Top 10 Work Snacks To Stay On Track

During the flu and cold season, your work area can be a germ haven.  With our loyalty to our jobs (and our jobs lack of understanding that even adults get sick) sick days are non-existent!  During these winter months even just a quick trip to the store can be a flu trap.  While stocking up on hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes can help, keeping your immune system strong by focusing on nutritious foods is your best bet.

There are many Super Foods (you know, foods that are super high in an array of nutrients) can help your immune system fight off these nasty colds and keep you feeling better than your co-workers. 

Here are our top 10 snacks to help keep you healthy this cold and flu season:

1:   Blueberries – Per serving, these small superfoods are packed full of antioxidants, more so than any other fruit or vegetable! They are also high in vitamins A and C, zinc, potassium, magnesium and iron.  While boosting your immunity against everyday illness, they also have been known to help fight belly fat!  Talk about a win-win! Add to your oatmeal, salads, yogurt or eat by themselves!

2: Brazil nuts (raw and unsalted) – These delicious nuts, in their raw form, are rich in protein, omega fats and selenium.  Selenium is a mineral that helps guard against colds, flu and infection.  Your body only needs a small amount of selenium each day so snack on these sparingly and be sure to stick to the right serving size (serving size is 1 oz, about 6 nuts).

3:  Carrots – Carrots are rich in beta-carotene which the body converts in vitamin A.  Vitamin A is essential for building and maintaining a healthy and strong immune system.  To be a little more specific,  it helps to keep our body’s first line of defense, our skin, the mucous membranes in our nose, sinuses and our mouth, healthy and ready to protect! Check out the Raw Carrot Salad from Chef Brian of The Healthy Edge!

4: Fennel: Fennel is a natural expectorant and can help clear congestion and soothe a cough.  One cup of chopped fennel bulb contains almost 20% of the daily requirement of vitamin C.  So chop it up and eat it raw or throw it in a salad, because vitamin C is a vitamin you defiantly want to stock up on during this season!

5: Oats – Oatmeal is full of healthy nutrients such as vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron magnesium and insoluble fiber, including beta-glucan.  The beta-glucan in oats contains antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. According to a Norwegian study, this strain of fiber is more potent than echinacea in boosting your immune system, speeds healing, and helps antibiotics to work better. Try this tasty Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Recipe!

6: Oranges – Ditch the fizzy immune-boosting drinks promising you your dose of vitamin C and eat an orange!  So much simpler! Eating an orange is the most direct way to get the valuable vitamin C found in citrus fruits.  Incase you didn’t know, vitamin C helps improve the immune system, produces and repairs skin tissue and is an antioxidant against harmful free radicals.  Studies have shown that the benefits of vitamin C in helping to fight the common cold may be particularly strong when people are exposed to stress or cold weather.

7: Red Peppers – While oranges are a deliciously wonderful source of vitamin C, bell peppers have almost three times the vitamin C of a medium orange.  We would suggest choosing red over green, they have more vitamin C, since greens are just unripe reds!

8: Sunflower seeds - A handful of sunflower seeds (unsalted) delivers a significant amount of vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that prevents damage in cell walls and is essential to lung health. Healthy lungs mean less phlegm production.

9: Yogurt - The probiotics found in yogurt help keep your digestive track free of disease-causing germs and bad bacteria. Be sure to look for the “live active cultures” addition on the label, as these are the ones that contain probiotics.  Go for plain yogurt or our favorite, Greek style, and flavor it yourself with fruits, honey or granola!

10: Dark Chocolate – Before you head over to the vending machine, be sure that read the rest!  To enjoy the immunity-boosting benefits of dark chocolate (not the milk chocolate of your childhood Easter baskets), you have to understand the serving size we are suggesting, which is bite-sized.  One-quarter ounce of dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of 70% or higher) contains the antioxidant polyphenol and high levels of zinc.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Super Simple Salmon Dish

Below is a quick and easy recipe with minimal ingredients, sent in by a Healthy Edge Community Member, Jo. The Healthy Edge embraces the principle of 80/20 and we love to share recipes with each other. We thought you would enjoy this one!

Super Simple Salmon Dish

This is super easy, despite all my tips, but tastes impressive enough for company.

Ingredients:  (Note:  I have never measured with this recipe...so guessing here.)

1 pound wild salmon filet
 
King/Chinook is best flavor, texture, highest in beneficial oils, and juiciest...thus also most expensive.  Look for a sale or use other species of salmon, such as sockeye.  I have even done this dish with cod, but the mustard flavor is strong for white fish, and the fish oil content is much lower.

3-4 Tablespoons Grey Poupon mustard

I have tried other brands, to get one that is organic, etc., but this one truly tastes best to me in this dish.  The salt content is a bit high, so this is a "special treat" dish, for us.  If you try this and find a better brand of Dijon style mustard with less salt, please let me know!

Few tablespoons of organic milk
I tried coconut milk and hubby rebelled.  Didn't go with the other flavors.  The dairy milk just cuts the mustard's strength, while the coconut milk adds new flavor.
.
Tarragon to taste

Directions:

1.     Scoop mustard into a glass measuring cup.
2.     Add milk a little at a time, stirring with a fork or mini-whisk until mixture is about as thick as very heavy cream.  Add chopped tarragon to taste... approximately a tablespoon.
3.     Spread around a small amount of sauce on bottom of glass baking dish that fits the shape and size of your salmon filet, so fish won't stick (can also wipe or spray pan thinly with olive oil).  Put salmon in pan skin side down.  
4.     Cover with sauce, including over sides, sealing to bottom of pan.  This acts as a glaze that helps keep salmon moist.
5.     DEPENDING ON THICKNESS OF FISH, and your oven, bake "about" 25 minutes or until it is almost done when you try to flake it; remove from oven quickly.  (I cook this in my convection oven at 350 degrees.  You might try a regular oven at 375 degrees.)


Tips:

·      This is great served with fresh steamed asparagus, a plain baked yam or delicata squash, and spinach-arugula salad with raspberries, avocado, walnuts, and aged balsamic vinegar.
·      When cooking salmon: KEEP FROM OVER-COOKING IT, especially if using previously frozen salmon, which dries out very easily.  Always get "fresh" salmon when you can, but never "farmed."  To keep from over-cooking, stop right before it flakes in the center, as it will keep cooking after you take it out of the oven.  (If your salmon seems "shreddy," it is over-cooked.)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Check out the ingredients in a commonly used packet of taco seasoning you purchase at the store!

Ingredients
Chili Pepper, Salt, Maltodextrin, Spice, Onion Powder, Corn Starch, Yellow Corn Flour. Contains Less than 2% of: Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Silicon Dioxide (Anticaking Agent), Sunflower and/or Cottonseed Oil, Natural Flavor, Ethoxyquin (Preservative).

Scary!  What if you could have the delicious taste of taco seasonings and using the spices you have in your cupboard?  There are many variations out there, and each one can be adjusted to fit your family’s taste.  Here is the recipe we think you are going to love!

Home Made Taco Seasoning

1Tbls chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp minced onion
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 ½ tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

- Mix all ingredients together.
- Add to 2 lbs ground meat (cooked and drained) of your choice.  Add 3-4 Tbsp of water (more if needed).


Have a favorite taco seasoning recipe?  We would love to hear about it!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Easy healthy Food on the Go: Oatmeal Power Scoops



I love having these healthy, yet delicious, snacks available in the cupboard and in my freezer.  They satisfy my hungry kiddos, and allow me to make my dinner recipes simple or complicated, in peace and quiet when Arleena gets home from school. As always, I like to provide options that are *gluten and dairy free, but feel free to add in the gluten and dairy if you please. 

If you have younger children, make sure that you finely chop the seeds and nuts so there are no big hard pieces that could give your teething child problems.  Also feel free to omit the nuts if you can’t have them and add cranberries, dates or any other dried fruit to add nutrients.  My son Chase loves these and it is so easy to put him in his chair for a quick snack.  

I like to freeze these, then in the morning I can place a frozen Oatmeal Power Scoop in a baggie and put it in Arleena’s lunch.  It is perfect to eat by lunchtime!  If I am being completely honest, I need to freeze them because they are so good they will be gone in a few days if I don’t. 
 
Simple and delicious!!  Just follow these 3 easy steps!!

 
Step 1: Mix dry ingredients, add in wet ingredients. Let sit 5 minutes. Press the mixture, about ¾ full, into your ice cream scoop to make a perfect half ball.


 



 Step 2: Scoop Mixture onto parchment paper to avoid sticking and allow for a super quick clean up.

Step 3: Allow to cool for 5 minutes before eating.  This will allow the cookies to set up completely. 




Have these healthy treats (don’t tell the kids they are healthy) available in the freezer and on the counter for your hungry kiddos when they come home from school!  Enjoy that smile when they are satisfied and you know you have given them something to help them stay healthy!


Oatmeal Power Scoops
Save and Print Recipe

2 cups *Gluten Free Oats (or regular if you can have gluten)
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup raw almonds chopped finely
1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (to make toddler safe grind a bit before adding)
1 cup of buckwheat flour
3 TB of flaxmeal (grind up flax seed to make flaxmeal)
2/3 cup of sucanat or evaporated cane juice crystals
2 Tbsp of Pure Cocoa
1 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. of baking powder
1 tsp. of sea salt
1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1 cup of raisins or cranberries (fruit juice infused not sweetened with sugar)
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil or Earth Balance Original
1/2 cup of applesauce
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup or honey
1 Tbsp of blackstrap molasses
5 Tbsp of coconut milk or other non-dairy milk (use regular milk if able)

Mix all of the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add in wet ingredients and let sit for 5 minutes or until the oatmeal has soaked up all the wet ingredients (it should be a sticky texture). Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use an ice cream scoop and fill ¾ full pushing down the mixture as shown in picture. Scoop as many as you can fit onto your baking sheet since they will not spread as they bake.   Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 min. 

This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies, so it is great to eat  and freeze the rest for a treat on the go.

**If you are new to eating gluten free, please make sure all your ingredients are gluten free by checking the label or calling the company if it does not specifically say gluten free… this includes baking powder!  I know it is a pain but I have a list of safe brands I trust and I stick to them!   

Hope you enjoy this fast and healthy treat!! I would love to know what you think!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Being Healthy Is NOT As Hard As I Thought It Would Be!

From a Healthy Edge Graduate: "Just as you are doing right now, I’ve read a lot of “Health Success Stories”.  To be honest, when I read them before embarking on my own journey, I always felt inspired…but still thought I wouldn’t be willing to do what they had to do to gain success.  Most stories left me thinking, “That’s great, but I don’t have that kind of willpower around food,” or “I’m too lazy to really do that kind of activity,” or “I’m not a runner,” or “I like what I eat too much to give it up.”   To me, being healthy seemed not just HARD, but like something I could never work into my lifestyle.  We are led to believe it’s hard to get healthy by companies advertising “Easy Weight Loss” programs or “Just take this pill”—always looking for the “quick answer”.  I knew I didn’t want to count points, count calories, buy someone’s prepackaged “food”, or do anything I wasn’t willing to do for the rest of my life. 

I was lucky enough to have my employer sponsor my health journey with the Healthy Edge program at a point in my life where I had finally gotten honest with myself.  I was a ballerina when I was young and never had issues with my weight until college, when I got busy and inactive.  I had many excuses why I stopped moving and kept eating food that didn’t serve my body well.  By the time I had all three of my children, I was obese and “TOO BUSY” to work out.  I woke up every day feeling like a skinny girl in a fat suit.  I found myself making choices based on avoiding effort and exercise.  I found myself indulging in the kinds of foods that led me to see my blood sugars rising, my blood pressure rising, and my cholesterol rising.  I was 40 years old and saw nothing but downhill ahead for my health.  Just before beginning the Healthy Edge, I’d gone snowshoeing with my family and was grateful when my 8 year old wanted to turn around early because I was not sure I could make it any further.  This was not the life I wanted.  I wanted to break the cycle in my family and create a different experience for my children.

Here’s what I wish I would have believed years ago:  being healthy is NOT as hard as I thought it would be.  Being healthy is making one choice at a time—just like making unhealthy choices.  I do not eat food I do not want to eat.  We have explored many, many healthy foods and we decide what we like.   It does take some effort to plan and prepare the food we want to eat, but that effort pays off every day.  I no longer crave carbohydrates— something I never thought possible—and that was after week 1!  While I don’t always “want” to work out, I know I feel better each day I do.   The best part of this journey has been how I feel—FULL OF ENERGY!  I know I will never go back to old habits because I love my new habits and how I feel.  

Thank you to Amber and her team at the Healthy Edge!  Because you helped me believe it was in me to do this, my whole family now leads the healthy lifestyle we’ve wanted.  Five months after beginning our journey, my husband and I have released 110 lbs.  We took a 10 mile hike with our kids and kept up with them the whole time.  My husband no longer takes medication for his blood pressure or cholesterol since both are controlled through lifestyle.  I am no longer “borderline” on my blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels—I’m in the normal range.  I received the tools I needed to make changes for our whole family for a whole lifetime.   

If you are reading my story and are feeling the way I used to feel, “Great for her, but I could never do it,” please know that I was there too.  Begin your healthy journey from wherever you are today.  Take the next step and the one after and the one after that.  If I could do it—you can too.  You can love a healthy lifestyle more than what you have now and the tools at the Healthy Edge will teach you how."  ~Jennifer

The Healthy Edge is hosting a Total Body Makeover Challenge beginning January 11th.  Experience the Healthy Edge through the support of a coach, in a group or through a self-directed program.  To learn more please visit The Healthy Edge Total Body Makeover page or join us for a FREE informational webinar on January 5th (register now) or January 8th (register now), both at 6:00pm PST.  All registrants will be emailed a recording of this call.  

If you have any questions please contact support@getthehealthyedge.com


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