Thursday, April 30, 2015

Crash Hot Potatoes

Submitted by: Paula Funk
 
These were the most delicious potatoes I've ever had, I swear! In Australia their called Crash Hot Potatoes, they were SO awesome! And super simple.
 
Ingredients:
 
I lb  of red baby potatoes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese
Minced garlic or dry garlic powder
Fresh herbs of your choice

Directions:

In a medium pan boil some baby potatoes (I used red) until fork tender. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet, set potatoes on sheet and using a potato masher, gently smash each potato down, rotating masher both ways (so it looks like a thick cookie). Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt/pepper and sprinkle cut fresh herbs and garlic over each. THEN top with some lovely grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. OMG...crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, salty, garlicky, herby and cheesy goodness. Enjoy!

10 Ways to Use Baking Soda for Your Health


What you might not have considered is that baking soda can be used for health purposes, too, so you might want to stash another box in your medicine cabinet.

What Exactly Is Baking Soda?

It's 100 percent sodium bicarbonate, which can be used as a leavening agent in baked goods. When mixed with an acid, baking soda reacts, making bubbles and giving off carbon dioxide gas, which causes dough to rise. Anecdotal reports throughout history suggest that many civilizations used forms of baking soda when making bread and other foods that required rising.

In its natural form, baking soda is known as nahcolite, which is part of the natural mineral natron. Natron, which contains large amounts of sodium bicarbonate, has been used since ancient times. And no, you don't need to get aluminum-free baking soda (you are confusing that with baking powder), as baking soda is already aluminum free.…

For instance, the Egyptians used natron as a soap for cleansing purposes. However, it wasn't until 1846 that Dr. Austin Church and John Dwight began to manufacture and sell the compound we know as baking soda today. By the 1860s, baking soda was featured in published cookbooks but was still primarily known as a cooking additive. By the 1920s, however, its versatility was expanded on and by the 1930s it was widely advertised as a "proven medical agent."

10 Ways to Use Baking Soda for Your Health

You can purchase a box of baking soda for under $1, making it one of the least expensive home remedies to keep on hand. In addition to using it for minor accidents and injuries, baking soda can become a part of your regular hygiene routine.

1. Natural Deodorant

If you want to avoid the parabens and aluminum found in many deodorants and antiperspirants, try a pinch of baking soda mixed with water instead. This simple paste makes an effective and simple natural deodorant. You can also simply brush some dry baking soda under your arms.

2. Insect Bites and Poison Ivy

Apply a paste made of baking soda and water to insect bites to help relieve itching. You can also try rubbing the dry powder onto your skin. This is also effective for itchy rashes and poison ivy. Baking soda helps to relieve minor skin irritation and itching by neutralizing toxins and irritants on your skin's surface.

3. Heartburn, Indigestion, and Ulcer Pain

Most over-the-counter antacids contain some form of bicarbonate. Baking soda works by immediately neutralizing stomach acid, helping to relieve heartburn, indigestion and even ulcer pain. I have personally recommended this to many, including family members, and have been surprised how remarkably effective it is.

Dosing is typically ½ teaspoon fully dissolved in a half a glass of water, taken every two hours (do not take more than seven ½ teaspoons in 24 hours, or three ½ teaspoons if you're over 60).

This should only be used as an occasional (not chronic) treatment, however, and be careful not to consume excessive amounts, which can cause serious electrolyte and acid/base imbalances.

4. Foot Soak and Exfoliator

Add three tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm water for an invigorating foot soak. You can scrub your feet with a baking soda paste for additional exfoliation. A paste made from three parts of baking soda combined with one part water can be used as an exfoliator for your face and body, too. It's natural, inexpensive and gentle enough to use every day.

5.Relaxing Soak

Baking soda and apple cider make a wonderful spa-like bath for soaking. It also cleans the tub and the drain, as a bonus! Mix three parts baking soda with one part of water to make a natural hand cleanser that will scrub away dirt and neutralize odors.

6. Splinter removal

Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a small glass of water, then soak the affected area twice a day. Many splinters will come out on their own after a couple of days using this treatment.

7. Sunburn Remedy

Add ½ cup of baking soda to lukewarm bathwater, then soak in the tub for natural relief. When you get out, let your skin air dry, rather than toweling off the excess baking soda, for extra relief. You can also add a mixture of baking soda and water to a cool compress and apply it to the sunburn directly.

8. Enhanced Sports Performance

Distance runners have long engaged in a practice known as "soda doping" -- or taking baking soda capsules -- before races to enhance performance, a measure that's thought to work similarly to carbohydrate loading. It's also been shown to improve speed among swimmers.While I don't suggest you try this at home, it's another example of baking soda benefits.

9. Tooth and Gum Paste

Baking soda has a mild abrasive action that helps to remove plaque and polish, clean, and deodorize your teeth. One review of data from five controlled clinical studies found that toothpaste containing baking soda "enhanced plaque removal effectiveness of tooth brushing to a significantly greater extent" than brushing with a non-baking soda toothpaste.

Baking soda also has antibacterial activity and has been found to kill Streptococcus mutans bacteria – a significant contributor to tooth decay. For an incredibly effective tooth and gum paste, use a mixture of six parts of baking soda to one part of sea salt.

Place them in a blender and mix for 30 seconds, then place in a container to use. Wet the tip of your index finger and place a small amount of the salt and soda mixture on your gums.

Starting with the upper outside gums and then the inside of the upper, followed by the lower outside of the gums then the lower inside, rub the mixture onto your teeth and gums. Spit out the excess. After 15 minutes rinse your mouth. This mixture is incredibly effective at killing bacteria.

You need to exert some caution in this area though as many believe baking soda can be too abrasive on your enamel, and Dr. Curatola believes that killing the oral microbiome may be highly counterproductive.

10. Teeth whitener

For a natural way to whiten your teeth, crush one ripe strawberry and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave on for five minutes. Then brush your teeth and rinse. This method should be used no more than once a week, as excessive use could potentially damage your tooth enamel.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Almond Butter Zucchini "Brownies"


Submitted by: Coach Taryn

Ingredients

0.75 c. almond butter, organic, raw
1 c. zucchini, fresh, organic
1 egg, omega-3, cage-free, organic
0.25 c. honey, raw, unfiltered, organic
1 tsp. vanilla extract, organic
2 tsp. cinnamon, ground, organic
0.75 tsp. baking soda, pure
1 pinch sea salt, unrefined and pure
0.5 c. chocolate chips, dark, 70%, raw, organic

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a square (8x8) baking dish. Grate the zucchini into a bowl. Add almond butter, egg, honey, and vanilla to the bowl. Mix well. Add cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mix until all ingredients are evenly combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Nut Butter Cups


 Submitted by: Coach Taryn

Ingredients

1 tbs. coconut oil, raw, extra-virgin, organic
10 oz. chocolate, dark, 70%, raw, organic
1 c. almond butter, organic, raw

Directions

Melt all of the chocolate using a double boiler. If you are adding coconut oil, now is the time to do it. Just stir it in with the chocolate as it melts. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners (regular or mini both work). Spoon a little of the melted chocolate into the liners. Fill them about ¼ of the way full. Put the entire muffin pan in the freezer for about 5 minutes to let the chocolate set a bit. Take the pan out of the freezer and scoop some almond butter on top of the chocolate. The amount of almond butter you use is completely up to you, but I wouldn't fill it more than ¾ of the way. Spoon more melted chocolate over the almond butter until it’s covered completely. Put the muffin pan back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. When you take it out, just pop the cups out of the muffin pan. Peel the liner off, and enjoy!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Chicken and Black Bean and Quinoa Chili


Submitted by: Isabel De Los Rios

Ingredients

2 c. water, purified
1 c. quinoa, white, organic
1 tbs. coconut oil, raw, extra-virgin, organic
1 sml. onion, white, organic
4 garlic cloves, fresh, organic
1 chili pepper, jalapeno, fresh, organic
1 tbs. chili powder, organic
1 tbs. cumin powder, organic
28 oz. tomatoes, crushed, canned, organic
38 oz. black beans, canned, organic
1 med. bell pepper, green, fresh, organic
1 med. zucchini, fresh, organic
1 tbs. chipotle, in adobo, can, organic
1 tsp. oregano, dried, organic
sea salt, unrefined, & fresh ground pepper, organic to taste
1 lbs. chicken thigh, skinless, organic, free-range
1 tbs. cilantro, bunch, fresh, organic

Directions

Heat the water and simmer the quinoa in it until quinoa is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Cook and shred the chicken thighs. Chop the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and chipotle chili pepper. Drain and rinse the black beans. Cut green pepper and zucchini into bite-size pieces Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion and saute until tender (about 5 to 7 minutes). Add the garlic, the jalapeno pepper, the chili powder, and the cumin, and saute until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the tomatoes, the black beans, the bell peppers, the zucchini, the chipotle, the oregano, and the salt and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chicken thigh meat and the cooked quinoa, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in chopped cilantro, and serve.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Turkey Taco Zucchini Boats


Ingredients:
  • 4 medium zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
  • 4 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water or broth
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar shredded cheese
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  • Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a small spoon or melon baller, hollow out the center of the zucchini halves, leaving 1/4-inch thick shell on each half.
  • Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and spices and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring often. Stir in the tempeh, corn, and jalapeños and cook until they're beginning to brown. Add the tomatoes and broth to the skillet and cook until the liquid has absorbed. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Fill each zucchini half with the turkey mixture, then top with the remaining cheese. Transfer zucchini to a baking dish or sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are browned. Enjoy!

Roasted Tandoori Chicken


Ingredients:
  • 3.5 lb. whole chicken
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 4-inch piece of ginger
  • ¾ cup each: lemon juice, plain low fat yogurt
  • 1 tbsp each, ground: garam masala, coriander, cumin, fennel seeds, dried fenugreek leaves
  • ¾ tsp red chilli powder
  • ⅛ tsp tandoori paste
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  • Place chicken in large mixing bowl. Make a few deep gashes in it for marinade to seep in.
  • Combine remaining ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth.
  • Pour over chicken, tossing well to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours, turning chicken in marinade occasionally.
  • When ready to roast, preheat oven to 425°F. Lift chicken out of marinade and place on parchment lined rimmed baking tray, spreading any leftover marinade over top. Cover with foil and cook chicken for 1 hour, or until it is almost done.
  • Remove foil covering, baste chicken once with pan juices and continue to roast chicken, uncovered for another 20 -25 min or until it is cooked through and lightly browned. Enjoy!
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Top 9 Reasons YOU Should Be Using Ghee




When it comes to cooking oils, there is a lot of confusion and nutritional myths surrounding which oil is best - and the answer isn’t that simple. However, there are a few standout oils that I recommend incorporating into your cooking repertoire. You need a stable high-heat oil for stir-frying and pan-frying, a medium light-bodied oil (like olive oil) for light sautéing and salad dressings and a finishing oil (like flax seed or macadamia nut oil), which should never be heated. But overall, my favorite cooking oil is ghee.

What Is Ghee?

Essentially, ghee is clarified butter with the milk solids removed. It was traditionally used in India for Ayurvedic cooking. Because the milk solids have been removed, those who are casein and lactose-sensitive can enjoy the taste of butter again.

Health Benefits Of Ghee

1. Ghee Is A High-Heat Oil: It’s a stable saturated fat that can withstand high cooking temperatures and doesn’t oxidize as quickly as other cooking oils. This is important because oxidized oils cause inflammation in the body. Ghee’s smoke point – the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke and generate toxic fumes and harmful free radicals – is nearly 500°F, which is higher than most cooking oils and much higher than butter’s smoke point of 350°F.

2. It Contains Healthy Vitamins: Ghee is rich in the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2, which are critical to heart, bone, brain and immune system function.

3. It’s Great For Those Who Are Dairy-Intolerant: As I mentioned above, all of the milk solids have been removed, including the casein and lactose that can upset tummies for some.

4. It’s Rich In Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): CLA is the essential fatty-acid found almost exclusively in grass-fed animals and 9 phenolic antioxidants, as well as numerous other minerals. These are believed to protect against cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

5. It Is Shelf-Stable: Due to its low moisture content and lack of dairy, ghee won’t go bad at room temperature like butter does and retains its original flavor and freshness for up to a year without refrigeration.

6. It Is A Rich Dietary Source Of Butyric Acid: Loaded with short chain fatty acids such as butyric acid – a fatty acid, which is believed to prevent cancers and tumors – ghee helps restore the integrity of the gut lining, reduces inflammation, has antiviral properties and has been shown to benefit those with gut disorders such as ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease.

7. It Increases Vitamin Absorbency: The fats in ghee aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals from other foods, strengthening the immune system. Great for sautéing veggies!

8. It Has No Harmful Levels Of Omega 6 And 9 Fatty Acids: The ratios of omega 3 to 6 are in proper proportion. Ghee doesn’t contain hydrogenated oils or trans fats that can cause heart disease, like vegetable and industrial crop oils.

9. It Helps Break Down Your Food: Ghee does this in several key ways, from stimulating and balancing the secretion of necessary stomach acid that facilitates the breakdown of our foods (especially our proteins) to helping deliver the nutrients within the food to the cells.

Where Do I Find Ghee?

It’s important to purchase ghee from a reputable source to be certain that your ghee is from grass-fed or pastured animals. Ghee is concentrated and if the original source contained antibiotics, hormones or the animal was fed GMO corn or soy, you can be certain you’ll be consuming this too. Some good brands to look for are Pure Indian Foods, Tin Star Ghee, Purity Farms or you can even make your own very easily on the stove or in a slow-cooker.

Top 10 Ways to Prepare Kale



Kale is a member of the cabbage family and has a cabbagelike flavor. It thrives in cold climates and is in season in the winter months, although it is available year-round and can be grown in warmer climes as well. Kale leaves are long and frilly, with a tough center stalk, and can vary in color and texture (see varieties below). Kale can be used similarly to spinach. The kale chips below are trendy and fun to eat, and but also try kale boiled, sauteed, and slow-simmered.

Types of Kale
  • Curly kale: Ruffled leaves, fibrous stalk, and deep green color with the most pungent flavor of these three varieties.
  • Ornamental kale: Mellower flavor and more tender leaves than curly kale. The leaves can be green, white, or purple. Also called salad savoy.
  • Dinosaur kale: Dark bluish-green leaves on lighter stalks with pronounced texture and a slightly sweeter taste than curly kale. Also called Lacinato or Tuscan kale.
Kale Chips – This simple preparation of kale will have you begging for more. A crispy salty treat that is better than popcorn or potato chips.

How to Make Kale Chips
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 2 cups torn kale leaves on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until crisp.
Kale Pesto – More flavorful than basil pesto, this is a great addition to pizza, pasta, or in an omelet.

How to make kale pesto

In large pot of boiling salted water, blanch kale for 1 minute; drain. Chill under ice water; drain well and pat dry. In food processor, pulse together kale, walnuts, Parmesan cheese and garlic until coarsely ground. Pulse in oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth.
Sauteed Kale – For a hearty side dish, this is a classic preparation. I saute onions and garlic before I add the kale, and add a couple dashes of hot sauce for an added kick.

How to Saute Kale
In a large skillet heat 4 teaspoons olive oil. Add 12 ounces torn dinosaur or curly kale. Cook, covered, for 1 minute. Uncover and cook and stir for 1 minute more or just until wilted. If desired, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Kale Quiche – You can substitute any spinach quiche with kale and it offers the same great taste with the added health benefits.

Kale Soup – A classic kale soup is made with white beans and ham or sausage, however I like this recipe of using acorn squash and kale to create a sweet and savory winter favorite.

Kale Lasagna – The perfect “make ahead” recipe for a hearty dinner is a dish the whole family can enjoy.

Kale Juice – If you own a juicer, kale is quite possibly the healthiest thing to juice. Mix it with apples, carrot and a little lemon for a drink that is better for you than liquid gold.

Kale Slaw – You can substitute raw kale for raw cabbage in this recipe.

Kale Pasta – One of my favorite ingredients to add to pasta. Goes with just about anything from spaghetti to sausage pasta to baked macaroni and cheese.

Kale Pizza – One of the joys I’ve found with eating seasonally is changing up my grilled pizza toppings. One of my favorite combinations is sauteed kale, caramelized onions, strong white cheeses, and some crispy bacon.

Overall, kale is a delicious and hearty green. Treat it like spinach and you can substitute it in just about any recipe. Experiment and enjoy!

Almond Apple Raisin Bread

Submitted by: Traci Clements
 
Ingredients:
  • 2-1/4 cups of almond flour
  • 1/4 cup of flax seeds, ground
  • 1/4 tsp. of sea salt
  • 1-1/2 tsps. baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tbsp. of honey
  • 1/2 cup of applesauce, no sugar added
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 300ºF. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients (if you melt your honey for easy pouring, be sure to add the honey last, tempering with your eggs and applesauce so the eggs do not "scramble" in your bowl).
  • Stir the mixed wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix only until combined.
  • Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan, and bake until a tester comes out clean (about 30-35 minutes).
  • Cut loaf into 12 pieces.

    *Each piece of bread contains about 1 gram of protein and half a gram of carbs.

Homemade Almond Milk


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. stevia, loose
  • 1 pinch sea salt
Directions:
  • Soak raw almonds in filtered water (enough to cover almonds) for a minimum of 4 hours. After soaking, combine almonds, 3-6 cups of water, stevia, and sea salt in a blender or food processor. Blend everything together until the texture is creamy. Add more water and strain if you like it thin, or add less water to get a thicker, "whipped cream" consistency. Store in a lidded jar in the fridge. Enjoy!


 
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Grilled Cheese BLT Sandwich


Ingredients:
  • 2-4 slices bacon
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 2 slices your choice of bread
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup lettuce
Directions:
  • Cook the bacon until crispy and set aside on paper towels to drain.
  • Drain most of the bacon grease from the pan and fry the tomato slices for about a half-minute on each side. Heat a clean pan over medium heat.
  • Butter one side of each slice of bread, sprinkle half of the cheese onto the unbuttered side of one slice of bread followed by the bacon, lettuce, tomato and the remaining cheese and finally top with the remaining slice of bread with the buttered side up. Grill over medium heat until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-3 minutes per side. Enjoy!
 
 
 

Avoid 9 Foods That Are Bad For Your Health



If you want to lose weight and avoid chronic disease, then you shouldn’t eat much of these foods.
In many cases, the best choice is to avoid them completely.

Pastries, Cookies and Cakes


Most pastries, cookies and cakes are extremely unhealthy. They are generally made with refined sugar, refined wheat flour and added fats, which are often disturbingly unhealthy fats like shortening (high in trans fats).

These tasty treats are literally some of the worst things that you can put into your body. Almost no essential nutrients, but tons of calories and unhealthy ingredients.

Sugary Drinks

Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. However, some sources of sugar are worse than others, and sugary drinks are the absolute worst. When people drink sugar calories, the brain doesn’t “register” them as food.

For this reason, people don’t automatically compensate by eating less of other foods instead, and end up drastically increasing their total calorie intake.

Sugar, when consumed in large amounts, can drive insulin resistance in the body and is strongly linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is also associated with various serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Most Pizzas


Pizza is one of the world’s most popular junk foods. This is not surprising, given that it tastes awesome and is incredibly convenient to eat. The problem is that most commercially prepared pizzas are made with seriously unhealthy ingredients.

The dough is made from highly refined wheat flour, and the meats on them are usually processed. Pizza is also extremely high in calories. Alternatives: Some pizza places use healthier ingredients. Homemade pizzas can also be very healthy, as long as you choose wholesome ingredients.

White Bread


Bread is generally made from wheat, which contains the protein gluten. For this reason, all wheat-based breads are a bad idea for people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, most commercial breads are unhealthy, even for people who do tolerate gluten.

This is because the great majority of them are made from refined wheat, which is low in essential nutrients (empty calories) and leads to rapid spikes in blood sugar.

Alternatives: For people who can tolerate gluten, ezekiel bread is an excellent choice. Whole grain bread is also definitely better (or “less bad”) than white bread.

Most Fruit Juices


Fruit juice is often assumed to be healthy, but this is a mistake. Many fruit juices are actually little more than fruit-flavored sugar water.

It is true that the juice contains some antioxidants and vitamin C, but this must be weighed against the large amount of liquid sugar. In fact, fruit juice contains just as much sugar as a sugary drink like Coke or Pepsi, and sometimes even more
.
Alternatives: There are some fruit juices that have been shown to have health benefits despite the sugar content, such as pomegranate juice and blueberry juice. However, these should be considered as supplements, not something you drink every day to quench thirst. Drink water instead.

French Fries and Potato Chips


Whole, white potatoes are very healthy. However, the same can NOT be said of the products that are made from them, such as french fries and potato chips.

These foods are very high in calories, and it is easy to eat excessive amounts. Several studies link consumption of french fries and potato chips with weight gain. These foods may also contain large amounts of acrylamides, carcinogenic substances that form when potatoes are fried, baked or roasted.

Alternatives: Potatoes are best consumed boiled, not fried. If you need something crunchy to replace potato chips, try baby carrots or nuts.

Low-Carb Junk Foods


Low-carb diets are very popular these days, and have been for several decades. There are plenty of real foods that you can eat on a low-carb diet, most of which are very healthy. However, this is not true of processed low-carb replacement products, such as low-carb candy bars and meal replacements.

These are generally highly processed foods that contain very little actual nutrition, just a bunch of artificial ingredients mixed together and then sold as food.

Alternatives: If you’re on a low-carb diet, eat foods that are naturally low in carbs. Low-carb junk food is still junk food.

Most Fast Food Meals

Generally speaking, “fast food” chains serve only junk foods.The majority of the food they offer is mass-produced, highly engineered junk food with very little nutritional value.

These places are often very cheap, but keep in mind that junk food costs you twice.
For every penny you save there, chances are that it’s going to cost you many times more in the future. Poor health is expensive.

Alternatives: Fortunately, all sorts of healthy fast food places have started to appear. Chipotle is one great example.

Most Highly Processed Foods

By far the simplest way to eat healthy and lose weight, is to avoid processed foods as much as possible.
Put simply, if it looks like it was made in a factory, then it’s probably bad for you.

A good rule to remember, is that real food doesn’t need an ingredients list, because real food IS the ingredient.







Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chicken with Basil and Cherry Tomatoes


This can be baked in the oven in foil, in a pan with lid, or on the barbecue.
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 5 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cups cherry tomatoes
Directions:
  • To bake in the oven; In a large baking dish place your chicken breast, olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Add a drizzling of olive oil, salt and pepper (and about an egg cupful of white wine if you choose). Place in the oven at 400 degree or on the barbecue for about 30 minutes, (turning once, if on the barbecue) this is a great way to cook, as it keeps all the juices and flavors inside.
  • To cook in a pan, keep the heat low; add a little olive oil, the chicken breast and tomatoes, salt and pepper. Turn the chicken a couple of times, so it doesn't catch, add the basil leaves about halfway through, as you don't want them to be too 'soggy' and lose their flavor. Enjoy!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Baked Spaghetti Squash


Ingredients:
  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8-10 cherry tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
 
 
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise down the middle. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and center strings. Drizzle the two halves with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Place the squash, open side down on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, check to see if the squash is soft and easily comes up with a fork into a spaghetti-like texture. If it's too hard to remove, cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, scrape and fluff the stringy squash with a fork. Leave the squash in the skin.
  • Turn the oven up to broil. Add the tomatoes and fresh basil into the squash, stir and top with the cheese. Place in the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving the squash. Enjoy!
 
 
 
 

Monday, April 20, 2015

15 Facts About Hydrogen Peroxide

 
Hydrogen peroxide to be one of the most versatile products in my home. I use it for kitchens, dental care, health and wellness and cleaning. Check out this list of 15 everyday uses for hydrogen peroxide you didn’t know – no. 2 is one of the biggest surprises.
Health & Wellness

1. First Aid

Hydrogen peroxide gently sanitizes cuts and scrapes without harsh chemicals. It’s a natural anti-septic that helps to prevent infection. This solution should be used to help clean minor wounds but should not be used for long term treatment or to clean serious wounds.

I personally use a food-grade, 3% hydrogen peroxide solution for minor cuts, scrapes and bug bites to disinfect, and use this DIY first aid ointment to promote healing.

2. Contact Lens Solution

If you forgot your contact lens fluid, fear not! If you have hydrogen peroxide, you can use this as a temporary contact lens fluid. The 3% solution will keep your contact lenses safe and will even help break down proteins that have accumulated on your lenses during the day.

3. Sinus Infection Relief

Diluted hydrogen peroxide can be used as a nasal spray for those of you dealing with sinus congestion.

 Dental Care

4. Mouthwash

A food-grade, 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide can be used as an effective and safe mouthwash. When used daily, it can even whiten your teeth and help with persistent canker sores. You only need about 1 tablespoon daily; just swish around the solution in your mouth for 1-2 minutes and then spit.

5. Sanitize Toothbrushes

Keep toothbrushes naturally clean with hydrogen peroxide. Just soak toothbrush heads with a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide to kill germs and bacteria. Try this 1-2 times a week.

6. Whiten Teeth

Mix 1 tbsp of baking soda with 1 tsp of food-grade, 3% hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Use this as a “toothpaste” to remove stains and help to whiten teeth. Use a few times a week as needed.

Natural Cleaning

7. All-Purpose Cleaner

I always turn to hydrogen peroxide in my home because it is an effective and safe cleaning product. It has strong disinfectant properties and so it can be used in the kitchen, bathroom and even on your children’s toys. It’s also great for cleaning mirrors and windows.

8. Laundry Stain Remover

Next time you have to tackle a laundry stain, try using 3% hydrogen peroxide. Gently dab the solution onto the stain and let sit for no longer than 3 minutes (hydrogen peroxide can bleach fabric if left on the stained surface too long), then thoroughly rinse the affected area.

9. Whiten Laundry

Give up bleach for good and opt for hydrogen peroxide to get clothes naturally white. Add 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide a load of laundry. Let soak for 20-30 minutes and wash as normal.

10. Mold and Mildew Cleaner

Don’t reach for bleach if you have a tough mold or mildew stain. Spray a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide on mold and mildew on grout, tiles, bath tubs, shower stalls and more. Let solution soak for at least 30 minutes and rinse.

11. Carpet Cleaner

Got a tough carpet stain? Spray a little hydrogen peroxide on the stain and let sit for no longer than 3 minutes (hydrogen peroxide can bleach carpet if left on the stained surface too long), then wash out well with a cloth. Test on an inconspicuous spot first.
Kitchen
12. Disinfect Kitchen Sponges and Sinks

Kitchen sponges and sinks can easily contain more germs than bathroom toilets. Yuck!
Keep those sponges and kitchen sinks clean with hydrogen peroxide. Clean out sink of any dishes or dirt. Plug the sink and fill with very warm water and add 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide. Add kitchen sponges and let sit in sink for about 20-30 minutes. This will help to sanitize both the sponges and the sink and naturally kill bacteria.

13. Natural Fruit and Vegetable Cleaner

Hard to believe, but, yes, that produce you got from the store is covered in germs. Ew, right? Hydrogen peroxide can kill germs on your produce, as well as help neutralize potentially harmful chemicals.

Simply fill half of your sink with warm water and add 1⁄4 cup of food-grade, 3% hydrogen peroxide, then let your fruits and vegetables soak for 10-15 minutes. I would recommend using this method on fruits and vegetables with thicker skins such as cucumbers and potatoes.

14. Sanitize Cutting Boards

Keep your cutting boards clean with hydrogen peroxide. Just spray cutting board surfaces with hydrogen peroxide and let sit for 5 minutes. Rinse well with hot water, and then use dish soap to wash off food particles.

15. Disinfect Refrigerator

Got a funky smell in the fridge? First, empty out all the food and drinks. Then, spray hydrogen peroxide and let sit for a couple of minutes. It will help to sanitize and neutralize odors. Wipe down with a clean cloth and place food back inside.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Healthy Strawberry Jam




Ingredients:
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 3 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds 
Directions:
  • Place strawberries and honey/maple syrup in a saucepan and mash them until they are the consistency of coarse apple sauce. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in the chia seeds. Place jam in refrigerator for at least one hour to thicken, then serve. Enjoy!

Grilled Cheese Egg-in-a-Hole Sandwich


Ingredients:
  • 2 slices bread of choice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  • Using a biscuit or cookie cutter, cut a 2-inch hole from the center of both slices of bread. Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a medium non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. When it’s melted, add the two slices of bread. Let the bread lightly toast for a minute, or until lightly golden brown, and then flip the two slices over. Dab the remaining butter in the middle of the bread circles. We want to ensure the egg doesn’t stick.
  • Crack the eggs into the holes and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan for a minute, just until the egg whites are sort of set. Next, add the grated cheese to one half and cover for another minute, or until the cheese is practically melted.
  • With spatula, gently top the cheese slice with the egg slice. Cook for one more minute, or until the cheese is melted. Add cheese on top if you want and broil it on high in the oven for 2 mins. Enjoy!

Growing Onions Vertically On The Windowsill




How nice would it be to just be able to pluck fresh green onions from the soil whenever you need them? Nothing beats fresh onions for your salads, dips or soup. But how can you ensure a supply of fresh onions at hand all the time?

Sure, onions are available all year round from the supermarket, but they are hardly fresh and there’s almost always no way to know for sure where they came from.

Gardeners of course will simply grow them but some simply have problems with available space.

Yes, this method can be used all year round since you’ll be growing the onions indoors (ideally on the windowsill). To harvest the green tops, cut when the leaves reach 6 inches in length. If you want a stronger, more oniony flavor, wait till the leaves mature more and get longer before you cut them. Be sure to cut above the white or lighter colored base of the onion top.

To learn step by step go to:
http://freshorganicgardening.com/growing-onions-vertically-on-the-windowsill/

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Chocolate and Vanilla Protein Muffins


Submitted by: Coach Taryn

Yummy chocolate muffins made with vanilla protein powder!

Ingredients

0.5 c. coconut oil, raw, extra-virgin, organic
4 egg white, from large egg, cage-free, organic
1 tbs. lemon juice, pure, organic
1 c. milk, full-fat, raw, grass-fed or pastured cows, organic
1 c. almond flour, organic
0.5 c. protein powder, BioTrust Low Carb, vanilla
0.66 c. cacao powder, raw, organic
0.5 c. coconut sugar, organic
2 tsp. vanilla extract, organic
1 tsp. baking powder, organic, gluten & aluminum-free
1 tsp. baking soda, pure
0.5 tsp. sea salt, unrefined and pure
4 oz. chocolate, dark, 70%, raw, organic

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Add lemon juice to milk, and let sit for 5-10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine flour, protein powder, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chunks. Mix well. In another bowl, combine coconut oil, egg whites, milk (with lemon juice), and vanilla. Use a whisk to mix it all up. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Divide batter among muffin cups, and bake for about 13-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. (It could take as long as 20 minutes to cook, depending on your oven, so be sure to check them every few minutes.) Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Yields: 18 muffins Serving: 2 muffins 2 muffins = 1 protein, 2 carbs 1 muffin = 1/2 protein, 1 carb

Homemade Mayonnaise

 

Submitted by: Isabel De Los Rios
Make your own mayonnaise with an extra virgin olive oil base!

Ingredients

1 egg
1 tbs. Pure lemon juice
2 tsp. dijon mustard
sea salt & fresh ground pepper
1 c. olive oil

Directions

In a blender or food processor, process the egg, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper until well combined. While the motor is running, pour the oil in a slow, thin, steady stream and process until the mixture is thick and creamy. *Take your time with this recipe. If you try and rush it, it won’t come out right. One serving is one tablespoon.

Pan-fried Scallops with Chile, Ginger and Anchovy Dressing


Ingredients:
  • 2-3 tbsps. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs. waxy potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 10-12 scallops, cleaned
  • salt and ground pepper
  • 1 red chile, seeded, chopped finely
  • A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 half lemon
  • Small amount parsley, chopped fine
Anchovy Dressing Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsps.. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp.. balsamic vinegar
  • 8 anchovies, drained of oil, finely chopped
  • Pinch of sugar, if desired

Directions:
  • Heat 1-2 tbsps. of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and sauté for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towels and set aside to keep warm.
  • Make the anchovy dressing. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, and anchovies until well-combined. Taste and add a pinch of sugar if needed. Season with black pepper.
  • Pat dry the scallops with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Put the remaining oil in the frying pan over high heat. When hot, add the scallops. Sear for about 1 minute on one side, then turn them over. Add the chile and ginger, and squeeze in the lemon juice. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the parsley on top.
  • Serve immediately over the sautéed potatoes and a drizzle of the anchovy dressing. Enjoy!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Italian Sausage Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms


Submitted by: Melissa Pruitt

Ingredients

5 mushrooms, Portobello
16 oz. sausage, turkey, Italian-style
2 tbs. coconut oil, raw, extra-virgin
1 sml. onion, any type
1 tsp. garlic cloves, fresh
0.5 c. tomato sauce
1 pinch red pepper flakes, crushed
9 oz. spinach, fresh
2 tbs. basil, fresh
2 tbs. parsley, fresh
1 c. cheese, mozzarella

Directions

Preheat gas or charcoal grill to high heat. Heat a small amount of coconut oil in heavy frying pan. Crumble Italian sausage into pan and cook about 5 minutes, breaking apart with back of the turner as it cooks. When sausage is well-browned, remove to bowl. If needed, add a bit more coconut oil, then saute onions until they're starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking until onions are starting to brown, a few minutes more. Add Italian sausage back into pan, then add red pepper flakes and tomato sauce and simmer 2-3 minutes while you chop the spinach. Add chopped spinach and let it wilt and cook down, stirring so it's evenly distributed in the sausage/onion mixture. Turn off heat and stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella, chopped basil, and parsley. Remove stems from mushrooms caps, being careful not to break them. Scrape out brown gills from inside mushrooms if desired, then brush both sides of mushrooms with coconut oil. Put mushrooms on grill, inside facing down, and cook about 4 minutes, until mushroom is slightly browned and starting to soften. Remove mushrooms from the grill. (I put them on a wooden cutting board.) Carefully stuff the inside of each mushroom with sausage/spinach/cheese mixture, then top each mushroom with about 2 tablespoons grated mozzarella. Carefully put mushrooms back on grill, stuffing facing up of course! Cover grill and cook for about 5 minutes, checking often and removing from grill when mushrooms are cooked through, and cheese is melted and starting to brown, and stuffing mixture is hot. Serve immediately.

Feta and Sundried Tomato Turkey Meatloaf


Submitted by: Melissa Pruitt

Ingredients

1 lbs. turkey, ground
2 egg,
2 tbs. almond milk, unsweetened
0.5 c. breadcrumbs, made from sprouted whole-grain bread
0.5 c. cheese, feta, raw
0.33 c. parsley
0.25 c. tomatoes, sundried
2 garlic cloves, fresh
1 tsp. black pepper, ground
1 coconut oil, raw, extra-virgin

Directions

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with coconut oil. In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes (chopped), garlic (minced), eggs (lightly beaten), milk, feta (crumbled), and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat. Carefully pack the meat mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the internal temperature registers 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice. Put on a serving platter and serve.

Glass Cooktop Cleaner

 
GLASS COOKTOP CLEANER - Tried & Tested

Ingredients:

 Hydrogen Peroxide
Baking Soda...
Rag or Sponge

Instructions:

In a small bowl mix baking soda with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste.
Work paste around in a circle, concentrating on soiled areas.
Baking soda absorbs grease and hydrogen peroxide will help to lift the residue.
Gather up your baking soda in a pile and dispose.
Wet a cloth with water to remove any remaining baking soda.
Buff with a dry rag.

 I also tried using this recipe to clean our stainless steel sink and tea pot and it left them sparkling.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

BLT Lettuce Wraps


Ingredients:
  • 4 slices on bacon
  • 1 cherry tomato, sliced thin
  • 2 whole romaine leaves
  • 2 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
Directions:
  • Spread each lettuce leaf with a generous portion of Greek yogurt.
  • Sprinkle with salt & pepper
  • Top with two strips of bacon, then a layer of sliced tomatoes, and two more slices of bacon.
  • Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spinach Kale and Feta Turkey Burgers


Ingredients:
  • 1 lbs. turkey, ground
  • 1 egg,
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 oz. feta cheese
  • 5 oz. spinach, frozen
  • 5 oz. kale, frozen or fresh
Directions:
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well (using hands). Form mixture into 4 patties. Cook on preheated grill or in a skillet on the stove. These burgers already have so much flavor that there's no need for any extra cheese or a bun. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Hash Breakfast


Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley or cilantro
 
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and onions and cook about 5 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Reduce heat, add garlic and jalapeno pepper, and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Make 4 evenly spaced, slight depressions in the hash and break an egg into each one. Place pan in the oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked. Remove, season eggs with remaining salt and pepper, and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

Blueberry Banana Protein Smoothie


Submitted by: Isabel De Los Rios

Ingredients

1 scp. protein powder, BioTrust Low Carb, vanilla
0.5 c. blueberries, frozen, organic
0.5 med. banana, frozen, organic
0.25 c. coconut milk, unsweetened, full-fat, organic, canned

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Nutella Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies


Ingredients
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup nutella
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tap. vanilla 
  • 3 cups  oats
  • 1/3 cup, shredded coconuts 
Directions:
  • In a medium saucepan stir together the sugar, cocoa powder, butter and milk.
  • Put over medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
  • Stir in the Nutella, peanut butter, vanilla, oats and coconut.
  • Drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper lined plates or a cookie sheet and put in the fridge to harden. Enjoy!

No-Bake Coconut Cookies


Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups dried, unsweetened coconut
Directions:
  • Put honey, cocoa, and coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute and immediately remove from heat.
  • Stir in vanilla and coconut until it is incorporated.
  • Scoop by spoonfuls unto wax paper or parchment paper and put in the fridge until hardened and set.