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Friday, December 28, 2012

Dinner Recipes Simple and Flexible for Gluten and Dairy Free Families

So I am on a mission!  It has been on my heart to really dive deeply into my bag of tools and put together the best recipes that can be made gluten and dairy free, and that are flexible.  What do I mean by flexible?  I mean I can use them for dinner one night (and convert, if necessary, into something the children will eat) and then completely transform them into a new dinner later in the week.  One of the biggest objections I hear from people around being healthy is that it is expensive.  By choosing recipes that can be used in a variety of ways we can save so much time and money… and that makes any mommy happy.  I want to be the best steward of the money God has blessed me with, so this is a labor of love to create meal plans that can restore some peace of mind and help me save more so I can give more.  

Today I really feel I have stumbled upon one of those recipes.  This recipe comes out of The Healthy Edge Cookbook and is super easy and loaded with good stuff for the family.  Now moms, I strongly suggest getting a chopper that allows you to easily chop and dice vegetables, it will save you so much time.  I am speaking of a hand chopper that you just place the pepper on and then chop and it is done!  Now the best part isn’t the recipe, it is what you can do with it to make sure your whole family enjoys it!  Also, see below to learn how to turn this simple dinner, into multiple meals/ snacks throughout the week. I suggest making a double batch and freezing part of this so you can put it in a crock pot in a few weeks as an easy meal when you are feeling a little over loaded.  We need go to meals that are healthy, not just convenient.  

STEP #1:  Make Quick Southwestern Chili  
pg. 121 of The Healthy Edge Cookbook

What you'll need:
  • 1 lb organic, grass fed beef combined with 1 lb organic ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 3 cans low-sodium diced organic tomatoes* (14 oz each)
  • 1 can mild green chilies* (4-5 oz)
  • 1 organic green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 organic red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans low-sodium black beans* (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  1.  In a medium or large stock pot, brown the ground turkey or gound beef with onions and garlic over medium-high heat
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir
  3. Bring mixture to just before boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium-low for 20 minutes
*Contact manufacture to ensure product is gluten-free

Step #2: Make Your Kids Love It!  Even the picky ones!

Do you have a toddler or a picky child that doesn’t like chunks of things?  Or maybe they just don’t like to look at onion and peppers and all that good stuff?  Here is a trick. 

Use a mini chopper to puree this up for young children to a very fine mixture that can easily be eaten, and to a texture that they will enjoy.

Secondly, I use the same mini chopper on the low setting by just pulsing it a few times until the vegetables are very small and it looks almost like a sloppy joe consistency.  I serve this to my 8 year old with some vegan cheese on top and she loves it!  She doesn’t like chunks of things but loves it this way (weird).  

 Now if they still do not like it you can puree it up more and serve over a gluten free spaghetti… it makes an amazing marinara sauce which is the second use I have for this recipe.

Step #3: Learn to Use the Flexibility of the Dish
Scramble eggs and add Quick Southwestern Chile to make an amazing filling for tortillas or seaweed wraps.  Add one egg per person. Perfect for lunch or dinner at the end of the week!
More ways to use include...
  •  Make a double patch and freeze half… pull out of freezer in a few weeks and pop in the crock pot on low to warm up throughout the day!
  •  Puree up and make a marinara sauce for spaghetti this week or freeze for later.
  • Add cumin and use a Vitamix or mini-chopper to make into taco meat and serve with corn tortillas and vegan cheese (I prefer Daiya brand)
  •  Serve leftovers on a bed of spinach with avocado and tomatoes for an adult lunch.
  •   Puree extra and keep for a week to feed toddlers a simple lunch… add a serving of fruit.
  •    Eat as leftover for lunch anytime!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

Anybody out there remember making cut-out sugar cookies when they were growing up?  Every year, my sisters and I looked forward to the day our mom would make her famous cut-out cookies. After they cooled down, the four of us would enjoy time together laughing and decorating them with colorful sprinkles and chocolate chips!  Oh the sugar buzz we would have going on that night!

Now that I have a family of my own, I want to start a tradition of my own.  But when I think about making these cookies I start to see my kids bouncing off the walls and I start to hear the constant begging to have just one more. No thank you!  

So on my search to find a "New Tradition" I found these Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments.  What a great idea!  With 4 inexpensive ingredients, you can follow the same steps as sugar cookies which means all the fun without the sugar high at the end!  And my favorite part, they fill the house with the wonderful aroma of Cinnamon.

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments


3/4 cup cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup warm applesauce
2 tablespoons of white glue


Step One: Mix all in a bowl. Knead to stiff dough. (I used my hands for this part to make sure that it was well blended.) If the cinnamon is not all mixed into the dough, add a little bit more applesauce until it is well blended and your dough has formed.
Step Two: Flatten the dough out with the palm of your hand and your fingers until 1/4 thick.  I then used my fingers to smooth out the surface of the dough.
Step Three:  Using cookie cutters, cut out your ornaments and then place on a piece of foil.
Step Four:  Make a whole at the top of the ornament.  I used a wooden shish kabob stick.  You can also use a straw or anything that is small and round.  Be sure to gently flip over and poke through the back side as well.
Step Five:  Leave to dry.  (Some sites that I looked at baked these in the oven on a very low temp but I just let mine air dry.)  Mine took a day and a half to dry.  I flipped them over ever eight hours or so.
Step Six:  Decorate!  Be creative!  We used glitter gel to decorate.  You can also use paint, glitter and glue, sequence, beads, whatever you like!  Once your decorations are dry, put a ribbon or piece of yarn through the hole at the top and enjoy these delicious smelling ornaments or give them away as gifts.

  I am going to let the kids put their name and the year on the back and we are going to attach them to our Christmas gifts this year.  Who doesn't like handmade gifts from the special children in their lives?  

This is such a good idea, not only for Christmas time, but ANY time!  I am going to make these in the shape of balloons for my daughters birthday party and set up all the decorating tools and let her and her friends make there own and take them home. What a way to incorporate health into the holiday without the kiddos even knowing it!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Teenagers Don't Want to Be Healthy?

It is amazing to see what our teenagers today are eating!  With pop and pizza available to them constantly it is no wonder that they choose to lead such unhealthy lifestyles and never think about how much better they could feel if they would make a few changes and incorporate some healthier choices into their daily habits!  While at my step-son's wrestling tournament this weekend, I looked around and while kids were waiting for their match to come up, they were snacking on Doritos and Skittles and washing it down with Mountain Dew! Wow.  If only they knew how good they could feel and how much more energy they could have.  Not just a twenty minute sugar buzz, but actual natural energy.

We would like to share with you, the journey of an amazing 17 year old who as most teenagers and adults do, struggled with a an addiction to unhealthy choices such as energy drinks, pizza and Starbucks.  At such a young age, Brooke realized her unhealthy lifestyle choices and decided to do something about it!  Please take a minute to read Brooke's Journey to a healthier lifestyle.

If you are interested in finding out more about The Healthy Edge Journey please contact support@getthehealthyedge.com or visit www.getthehealthyedge.com and join our online community for FREE for 14 days!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Breakfast Quinoa!

I came across this idea for Quinoa while looking for new breakfast ideas.  I get so tired of making the same things over and over again and this idea defiantly caught my eye, and I just had to try it.

I was a little nervous about it because my kids are not a big fan of Quinoa but decided to try it anyways.  I thought that by making it in a sweet way, they might forget, or not know that it was Quinoa.

Breakfast Quinoa


1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup quinoa
2 cups organic milk or milk substitute of your choice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup raisins chopped (or a dried fruit of your choice such as dates or apricots)

  1. Toast the almonds in a skillet over medium heat until just golden, 3 to 5 minutes.  Set aside.
  2. Heat the cinnamon and quinoa together in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed through.  Add the milk to saucepan and stir.  Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover.  Allow to simmer for 15 minutes.  ( be sure to keep an eye on it at this stage.  I noticed mine wanted to boil over so I tipped the lid a tiny bit and this kept it under control.)
  3.  When done simmering, stir in the vanilla, honey, raisins and half of the almonds.   When serving, top with remaining almonds.

I was surprised at how the taste of this resembled oatmeal!  
My kids loved it and I enjoyed it as well.  
My son asked if I could cut up a banana for him 
to put in it and this made it even better!  

Hope you enjoy
Let us know what you think below.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Easy Squeezy Orange Juice

Tis a wonderful time of year for fresh oranges!  We can remember going to a Christmas party every year where we would gather with all of our first and second cousins, some of whom we only saw once a year during the holidays. We would impatiently await for 'Santa' with the fake cottony beard to enter with a "ho ho ho" and a bag full of gifts for each and everyone of us. The adults would enjoy the giddy laughs of us kids, but they were secretly awaiting anxiously for what happens after Santa passed out all of his gifts.  He would disappear up the steps and come down with a crate full of big, bright and juicy oranges.  Now this was the best part, all the adults made a dash for the crate to grab as many of these delicious oranges as they could carry. Looking back, we think Santa liked to tease the adults, because just as they thought they were all were gone, our uncle would come down the steps with a crate or two more.  Everyone would leave with arms full of presents, oranges and a smile on their face. Oh the memories! 

Now personally we LOVE to peel an orange and just eat it!  But why not make things a little bit more fun for the kids (and ourselves) when we can.  Check out a wonderful idea to try with your kids when you get fresh oranges!

Easy Squeezy Orange Juice

First:  Let your child roll the orange around on a table to loosen up the insides and make it nice and juicy.  

Second:  Have an adult cut a whole in the orange.                                  

Third:  Give your child a straw and let them stick it in the hole and start sucking the delicious juice out of the orange. Tell them to move it around and mash it around.                                        

Fourth:  When all the juice is gone, they can flip it inside out and finish by eating the yummy insides!

Healthy and Fun!  
Perfect snack to make both you and your child happy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Simple Leftover Turkey Recipe

Are you ready to add a little excitement to your turkey and sweet potato leftovers? What if I told you that you could actually transform your turkey leftovers into something that was as good for you as it tasted? Well, look no more! The Healthy Edge has the perfect recipe for those turkey and sweet potato leftovers that will be kind to your waist and cause you to salivate once more for your holiday leftovers!

Here’s what you will need for these fabulous Leftover Turkey Cakes! If you have a gluten allergy, be sure the whole rolled oats are labeled as gluten-free. If you are dairy-free, we suggest using a vegan cheese (we love Daiya) in place of the organic shredded cheddar cheese!
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup sweet onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups chopped cooked leftover turkey
  • 2 cups mashed and cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup whole rolled oats
  • ½ cup organic shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme (1 tsp dried)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper

1. Heat ½ olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté for approximately 5 minutes or until tender.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add onions, garlic, turkey, sweet potatoes, oats, cheese, green onions, thyme, salt, and pepper. Combine until thoroughly mixed. Divide mixture into 4 or 5 equal portions and shape each into 3/4 inch patties.
3. In the same skillet used to cook the onions and garlic, add remaining olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add patties to skillet; cook each side for approximately 4-5 minutes.
This recipe also works FABULOUS with leftover chicken! You may substitute 2 cups sliced mushrooms for the sweet onions or add 1 cup sliced mushrooms in addition to sweet onions. The best way to create the patties is to wash your hands, roll up your sleeves and use your bare hands to shape mixture into desired number of patties. Eat by themselves, or serve on sprouted whole grain bread with Dijon mustard and your favorite toppings! For more recipes that are healthy, low-glycemic and delicious like these Turkey Leftover Cakes, click here!

The Healthy Edge also has an incredible December Holiday Bootcamp available to support you and hold you accountability during the holidays. Attend the first webinar on Monday, November 26th at 6:00 pm PST. Click here to register for this FREE event!

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Healthy Edge Stuffing!!

The Holiday Season is here!  It is a wonderful time of the year to get to together with family and friends...not to mention the plethora of food available to satisfy all of our sweet and salty desires!  But what about those of us who are trying to clean up our eating habits and live a healthier lifestyle?  Is anyone else trying to get through the Holidays without the extra weight?

One of many favorite dishes prepared every year for Thanksgiving is stuffing! Whether it is made on the side or cooked in the turkey, it is a staple for many family Thanksgivings! Now what if you could make a delicious stuffing everyone would enjoy and that you could feel good about serving them?  Well look no further, we have the perfect recipe for you!!


1 ½ cups brown basmati rice, uncooked
2 cups organic (unsweetened) apple juice plus 1 ½ cups water
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 organic apple, cored and diced
½ cup sweet onion
½ cup Brussels sprouts, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
1 cup organic celery, diced
1/3 cup oat bran or wheat bran
1 cup fresh cranberries or ½ cup dried cranberries (sulfite-free)
1/3 cup slivered unsalted, raw almonds
½ tsp poultry seasoning (equal parts sage, marjoram, rosemary, nutmeg)
¼ tsp thyme
1/8 tsp ground black pepper


1. Add rice to a medium saucepan. Use the combination of 2 cups apple juice and 1 ½
cups water for the cooking liquid. Boil for approximately 45 minutes or until liquid is

2. Place olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Sauté all chopped fruits
and vegetables until they are crisp, not soggy. Add cooked brown rice, bran,
cranberries, almonds, poultry seasoning, pepper and thyme. Toss well.

3. This stuffing mixture can then be put into the cavity of a turkey. A 15 lb turkey will hold 5 cups of stuffing in the main body cavity and you can put about 2 more cups into the neck cavity. Alternatively, you can place mixture in a casserole dish and bake for 30-
40 minutes at 325 degrees.

The Healthy Edge understands how difficult the Holiday Season can be to stay on track!  That is why they have come up with The Holiday E-book, full of delicious, healthy versions of some of our not-so-healthy Holiday favorites!

Through out the month of November, The Healthy Edge is giving away a FREE copy of this Holiday E-book to all new Online Community Members!  And, when you sign up for The Healthy Edge Online Community, you will receive the first 14 days FREE (no obligations, cancel at anytime)!! Included in your subscription is this month's featured series, Holiday Party Patrol: Learn to Shrink Your Waistline WHILE Partying Through The Holidays! And also, a new recipe each week from Chef Brian, auther of The Holiday E-book! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Easy Stove Top Dinner

I LOVE Simple!!  This is a delicious dinner that my whole family enjoyed.  I was a bit nervous about it at first, considering that my children and I are not big onion fans and the kids don't touch anything with tomatoes in it but I tried it anyways and they gobbled it up!  With a simple ingredient list and a quick and easy preparation, this meal will be going in my recipe box!! Enjoy!!

Pork Chop and Rice Skillet Dinner


4 Pork Chops
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cup water
2/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt, divided
1 can (11oz) whole kernel corn; drained
1 can (14 1/2oz) diced tomatoes; undrained
1/4 tsp pepper


Step One: Season Pork Chops to your liking. In a large skillet, brown the pork chops in oil; remove chops and drain.

Step Two: Combine water, rice, onion, garlic and 1/2 tsp salt in skillet.

Step Three: Place pork chops on top of rice mixture.

Step Four: Top with corn and tomatoes.  Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper if desire.

Step Five: Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.  Simmer 20-25 min or until pork is cooked and rice is soft.  (Stir rice half way through) Let stand 5 min.

Simple and Delicious!! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Candy Exchange!!

It seems that since my daughter has started kindergarten, she is constantly coming home with candy!  In her class they give out smarties for being a "smarty pants".  On the bus her driver likes to give the kids candy when they behave well.  While I love the fact that my child is being rewarded for her behavior, I feel that candy is not the best reward.  Whatever happened to sticker charts?  If they behave or make a smart observation they get a sticker and when they get to a certain number then they get a piece of candy or small reward.  I do not like that they are rewarded with candy daily.  

Now my son is not in school, but he does go to grandma's!  His grandma lives in a retirement community and all the ladies up there just LOVE my son, but it seems that the way they like to show him how much they love him is by loading him up with candy and cookies. Drives me nuts!! 

Candy Exchange Jar
What I came up with is the...
"Candy Exchange Jar".  I went to the dollar store and spent $6.00 on little things that I know my kids will love.  I got tattoos (I cut them all apart), 4 braceletes and 6 necklaces, balloons, shirt shapped post-its (4 pack) and 8 buttons.  (All for $6.00!!  I LOVE the dollar store!!)  I put all these rewards into a jar and called the kids into the room.  When they saw all the fun stuff I had stuffed in that jar they instantly wanted to know how to get it.  I told my daughter that when she earns candy at school, if she brings it home and gives it to me, than she can pick one thing out of the Candy Exchange Jar.  I told my son that when he gets candy from Grandma's and he brings it home to me, he gets to pick something out of the jar.  They both eagerly agreed!  Each week I like to spend a dollar or two and add something new to the jar, just to keep it fun for them.

Halloween Candy Overload!

With Halloween just around the corner, I am going to try an idea that we learned from a Healthy Edge Coach.  She lets her kids go trick-or-treating and get as much candy as they want.  Then, when they get home she lets them pick out a few candies that they can keep to have over the next couple weeks.  The rest is left outside of the porch for the candy fairy.  When the kids wake up the next morning, they will discover the candy is gone and has been replaced by a toy or money.  

This is such a great idea! I am going to leave my kids $2.00 each and then take them to the Dollar Tree (where everything is a $1.00) and let them wander around the store and pick out whatever they want. Mom's happy and kids are happy!  Win Win Situation!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Healthy Halloween! Top Snack Picks!

While I love Halloween, I am not crazy about the bags full of candy my kids seem to accumulate between school and trick-or-treating.  Dressing my kiddies up in cute costumes (they are still little so we can still do cute) is so much fun.  Even the going out trick-or-treating, seeing all the other kids costumes and letting them see who's bag can get the fullest is fun.  But the aftermath...NOT FUN! The having to say no, you can pick one piece and the rest gets put away, is almost not worth it.  That is why we try to make there treats at home more fun than the ones that fill there bags.  

*For the extra Halloween candy your kids accumulate: check to see if your local dentist office has a program for the extra candy.  There are a couple in my area that give prizes to kids who turn in there candy to them.  Or let your kids pick out there top 10 favorites and save them for Special Occasions and get rid of or donate the remaining.

Here are our top picks for healthy halloween treats to have waiting for your little ones at home.  Or great ideas for Halloween parties (at home and school).

1.) Apple Bites: Cut your apples into slices.  Use peanut butter (or any nut butter) to stick them together, and then use almond slivers to look like crazy teeth.  Your kids will have as much fun making them as they will eating them!

2.)  Hummus and Fingers!  Take Carrot pieces and make slivers in them to look like knuckles.  Take your favorite Hummus or Avocado dip and use it to stick almond slivers or green pepper pieces to the tops for finger nails.  Then have them sticking out of your dip bowl so it looks like a hand.  Cute idea for a Halloween party!

3.)  Cheese Fingers!  With the same idea as above, use string cheese in place of carrots, and use green peppers for the finger nails.  Cute treat for school parties!

4.) Deviled Egg Spiders!  Make deviled eggs and use black olives to put spiders on top.  Another spooky party idea!

5.) Melon Brains!  Take a small seedless watermelon and use a vegetable peeler to remove the entire green rind leaving only the white rind. Slice off the bottom to create a flat base.  Using a toothpick, outline squiggly furrows that resemble the surface of the brain.  Then carve narrow channels along the tracings with a sharp paring knife to expose the fruit beneath the rind. 

6.)  Orange Pumpkins Delights! Using a Navel Orange and a small knife, slice the top off and cut around its interior to hollow it out.  Scoop out the orange segments and save for filling.  Carve a small face into one side of the orange.  Cut a slit int he lid to accommodate the handle of a green plastic spoon.  Fill the orange with mixed fruit of your choice.  Insert the spoon and set the lid on top with spoon poking out of the already made slit.

7.) Pumpkin Platter! Put your Hummus (or other healthy vegetable dip) into small dishes, using the shapes you prefer for your eyes and nose.  For the mouth, use half slices of cucumbers and for the stem use broccoli.  Use Carrot pieces to make your round pumpkin.  Then set it out for your little monsters to enjoy!

8.) Banana Ghosts!  Cut your banana into the size ghosts you want then slice in half.  Spread peanut butter on the flat side, use a toothpick to clear a hole for the mouth and raisins for the eyes.  You can also insert a popsicle stick into the bottom of a half banana and use a nut butter to stick raisin eyes on them for another ghostly treat!  One more idea for bananas is to cut one into slices, put circle of peanut butter in middle of flat side and a raisin in the middle for banana eyeballs! This would be a cute craft for your kids Halloween party!

Hope you enjoy these Healthy Halloween treats!!  For delicious hummus and avocado recipes check out The Healthy Edge Cookbook!  You can also find delicious vegetable dips when you sign up for the Healthy Edge 14 day FREE trial!

We would love to hear your Healthy Halloween treat ideas!!
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