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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.


Friday, September 5, 2014

FOOTBALL SUNDAYS!!


Future Browns Fan!!
Fall is here so bring on the football!  We have always been a Sunday Football watching family!  I can remember going to grandma and grandpa's every Sunday for hotdogs, chips and CLEVELAND BROWNS!  Now that I am older and have my own family to start Football Sunday memories with, I think I will keep the Browns and pass on the hotdogs!

On Sundays (and Saturdays) we are usually gathered around the t. v. for most of the day so we need easy finger foods that can be easily brought out anytime of the day.  One of my favorites is salsa!  I LOVE spending Friday night (after the kids are in bed) with my husband making salsa!  Make it Friday and it is ready for Sunday!  Easy, healthy snack that can be pulled out anytime during game day!

Want something hot?  Try these Chipotle Turkey Meatballs!!

Chipotle Turkey Meatballs
• 1 lb organic ground turkey
 • 1 cup low-sodium tomato sauce
• 1 organic egg
 • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce,
• ½ cup cooked brown basmati rice including 1 tbsp sauce
• 1 tsp sea salt
 • 1 garlic clove, minced
• ½ cup finely diced white onion
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
• 3 tbsp fresh cilantro 

1. In a large bowl, combine turkey, egg, rice, onion, and sea salt. Mix well and form
into 10-12 balls. Cover and place in refrigerator while you prepare the sauce.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine chicken broth, tomato sauce, chipotle chiles
and sauce, and garlic. Blend until mixture is smooth.
3. Pour sauce into a medium saucepan and add meatballs and bay leaf. Bring to a boil,
then reduce heat to low and simmer. Cover saucepan and cook meatballs in the
sauce, stirring occasionally to ensure coverage, until they’re cooked through, about 25
minutes. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro when ready to serve. 

Brian’s Tips
• You can use canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (check ingredients) or make
your own. Combine 12-15 dried chipotle chiles (stemmed and seeds removed),
with 3 cups water, ½ medium sweet onion (diced), 6 tbsp organic ketchup, ½ tsp
sea salt, 2 cloves garlic (diced), and 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar in a covered
saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 1 hour,
stirring occasional or until liquid reduces to about a cup.


 
Another favorite is Hummus. Check out The Health Edge Cookbook for four different Hummus recipes and many more easy, healthy appetizers perfect for Sunday gatherings!
What is your favorite Football Team and healthy Game Day snack??

Friday, August 22, 2014

White Fish Foil Packs

On hot summer days, there is nothing better than turning on a grill outside. The very thought of cooking over a hot stove or putting something in the oven seems so wrong during the summer months. Fish is a  delicious and light summer meal that can easily be prepared on the grill. Full of wonderful flavor, this is a quick and healthy way to prepare your fish with minimal effort.

As well as being an excellent source of protein, white fish types are also rich in vitamins and minerals. As with many fish, meats and vegetables out there, the health benefits of them
all depend on the way you prepare it! Here is a recipe that tastes delicious and keeps it healthy!

For a full meal, try making a zucchini and yellow squash foil packet to cook alongside of your fish! Simply slice up your zucchini and squash, add a little olive oil and seasonings of your choice, wrap in foil and put on the grill next to your fish packets. Note that the squash may take a little longer than the fish so you may want to put it on first.

White Fish Foil Packs

4-5 pieces of white fish of your preference
Olive oil
1 lemon, sliced
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Salt and pepper
Aluminum foil


1. Tear off pieces of foil big enough to make a packet for each piece of fish. Brush the fish lightly with olive oil. Lay on foil, season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay a slice of lemon and 1-2 sprigs of rosemary on each piece of fish. Fold foil over fish to make a packet.

2. Place on heated grill over low heat for 10 – 15 minutes or until fish is opaque and flaking apart. Dispose of lemon and rosemary and enjoy!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole

Take advantage of the season’s abundance of fresh produce.  Whether you grow your own vegetables or you shop your local farmers market, nothing beats freshly picked ingredients!  

Enjoy this recipe that stars eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes, all ingredients that are available to you during the late summer months.  Eggplant is a wonderful ingredient to add to dishes because it soaks up whatever delicious flavors you pair it with.  This recipe is full of amazing flavors including parsley, oregano, thyme and garlic!  Enjoy!

Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole

1 medium sized eggplant, cut diagonally into ¼ inch slices
1 lb zucchini, cut diagonally into ¼ inch slices
1 lb large organic tomatoes cut into ¼ inch slices
4 oz whole grain bread crumbs (see tips below)
¾ cup grated organic Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cracked black pepper
½ cup low-sodium organic chicken stock or broth

Directions

  1.       Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2.       Place eggplant and zucchini slices in a single layer on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.  Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.
  3.      While eggplant and zucchini are baking, tear toasted bread (2 slices) into smaller pieces and place in a food processor.  Process until you produce coarse bread crumbs.  Add the cheese, garlic, parsley, oregano, thyme, sea salt and black pepper to processor; process until thoroughly combined.
  4.           In an 11 x 7 inch baking dish (glass or ceramic), layer half of eggplant slices on the bottom of the dish.  Next, add half of the zucchini slices followed by half of the tomato slices.  Drizzle 1 Tbsp of olive oil evenly over the initial layers of vegetables.  Sprinkle ½ of the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top layer.
  5.           Repeat layers with remaining ingredients in the same order as step 4.  Pour chicken stock or broth over top of mixture.  Place in oven and back at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until bread crumbs are browned and the vegetables are tender.

Tips.

  •      You may substitute fresh herbs with dried herbs.  Simply cut measurements in half when using dried herbs.
  •       I prefer to use whole sprouted grain (Ezekiel style) bread to make my own bread crumbs.  You can make gluten-free crumbs by using such ingredients as rice bread or whole rolled oats.
  •       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.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Stove Top Quinoa and Black Beans

This recipe is a must try for those who need quick, healthy and delicious recipes to make for their families!  Full of wonderful flavors, this recipe has minimum prep time and simmers on its own while you do the many other things on your to-do-list besides cooking dinner.

This side dish can be used in many different ways as well.  Serve it alongside grilled chicken or fish, eat over a bed of greens, carve out a large zucchini and use this for stuffing to make Zucchini Boats or add leftover shredded chicken to it for a one dish meal.  Leftovers (if there are any) can be separated into serving size containers and packed in your lunch throughout the week.

We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!  Experiment with the ingredients!  This recipe is very versatile and we are confident it will become a family favorite!

Stove Top Quinoa and Black Beans

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup salsa
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 cup corn
Salt and Pepper to taste (optional)

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Brown the Quinoa.

2. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20-30 minutes or until Quinoa fully cooked.


That’s it!  Simple and Delicious!  


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Watermelon Salsa

Let's first start with some Health Benefits of a Watermelon.

1.  Watermelon is rich in lycopene, which has been shown in many studies to be protective against a growing list of cancers.  Lycopene also protects against heart disease and protects our DNA inside white blood cells.


2.  B Vitamins are abundant in the watermelon, a vitamin critical for energy production. Watermelon also delivers more nutrients per calorie, as it is so water dense, making it an outstanding fruit to consume both pre- and post- exercise


3. Half a watermelon gives you over 12,000 IU's of vitamin A!  Exactly the recommended amount of daily vitamin A intake.  Vitamin A helps keep your eyes, skin and mucous membranes moist.  It also has antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals in the body that cause tissue and cellular damage.


4. Improves our body's defense system via high concentrations of vitamin C, an important antioxidant that helps ward off illness and helps our bodies combat the daily pollution and environmental stress it is exposed to.

5. Watermelons contain citrulline, a compound that helps relax blood vessels of the body, similar to when a man takes viagra. This effect is also beneficial to the heart, circulatory and immune system.

While searching for different ways to use up extra watermelon, I found a recipe for a Watermelon Salsa!  When I was going through the ingredient list, I was very curious as to what it would taste like.  I just so happened to have everything on the list so I gave it a try and I am very glad I did.  I think this will be a new favorite in my house and a perfect side to take to any function!

Water Melon Salsa

8 cups cubed seeded watermelon

1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 large white onion, chopped

2 jalapeno peppers – stems & seeds removed, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup white wine vinegar (I used white vinegar)

1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Stir the watermelon, cilantro, onion, jalapeno peppers, garlic, vinegar, and salt together in a bowl until evenly mixed. Cover, and refrigerate overnight for best flavor.

So easy and so good!! We love snacking on this salsa with chips or serving it over a bed of greens as a dressing! Delicious! This is a must try!!  

Anyone have any other watermelon recipes??

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

There is nothing better than spending time together with the family during summer over some amazing healthy food.  This visit we were not as prepared as we usually are so we used what we had on hand.  Left over quinoa, ground sausage, corn, left-over black beans and of course, zucchini fresh from the garden!  Thrown all together, this was a delicious lunch that cooked on the grill as we enjoyed the cool and refreshing pool!

The best part about throwing together recipes like this is the leftovers!  This will make enough zucchini boats to feed you for lunch and you can put the rest of the filling in the refrigerator.  What a quick filling for tacos with a topping organic Greek-style yogurt! 

Here is the recipe!  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats


1 lb ground sausage
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup corn
1 cup cooked black beans
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Cheese of choice, optional
Zucchini (see tips)

Directions

Step 1:  Brown sausage in large skillet (leave 1-2 Tbsp of grease in the pan to help with flavor). Add quinoa, corn, black beans, salt and pepper to the skillet.  Mix well.

Step 2:  Slice the zucchini in half long ways.  Scoop out the middle of each zucchini slice, discarding the seeds and insides.

Step 3:  Fill each zucchini boat with your filling.  Top with cheese. Wrap each boat in tin foil (you may want to stick a toothpick in the middle to prevent the foil from sticking to the cheese).

Step 4:  Start your grill.  Turn on two burners both on the same side and place the foil wrapped zucchini boats on the opposite side or on the top rack of your grill.  Allow to slow cook for 20-30 minutes for smaller zucchinis and 50-60 minutes for large or "monster" zucchin's or until desired tenderness is reached.  Allow foil to cool before handling.

Tips:

- This filling is very versatile.  Use the amount of zucchini's you need and then save the filling for another meal.  Make tacos the next day with the leftovers but you could also put in eggs for a morning scramble, or on top of you salad. 
- If using ground turkey or other substitute, you may need to add additional seasonings such as cumin, thyme, rosemary, etc.
-  We used both smaller zucchini and "monster zucchini's" for this recipe. With the bigger ones, we had to eat it out of the skins due to the skin being to tough.  But both were excellent!
- If you have a gluten allergy, be sure to check the labels of your ingredients to make sure they are gluten free. 


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