Easy Protein Breakfast that Kids Love by Jim Johnson

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Muffin Omelets

Very simple to make:

Preheat oven to 350

In a bowl or large measuring cup, scramble 6 eggs

Cut up a couple of smokie links or your favorite sausage or bacon (pork or turkey)

With cooking spray, coat a muffin tin (6 muffins)

Pour egg mixture into each muffin cup. About half full

Evenly sprinkle meat into each muffin cup.

Bake for 15-17 minutes (eggs should not be runny)

Remove eggs and sprinkle with shredded cheese and serve.

Serves 3 (if everyone gets 2 of these)

Eggs with Chili

While no one in my family requires a gluten free diet, I try to provide meals less on wheat/wheat products and more on vegetables, protein, other carb choices. My wife has to watch her gluten intake. So far, so good.

This morning, I fixed a simple omelet topped with some left-over homemade chili (vs salsa that has much more sugar) and a little cheese.

It was fast, easy and very tasty. There will be no fast food stop on the way to work!

Learn to eat healthy and you won’t be tempted by the convenient but not-so-healthy choices you see everyday.

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Go Meatless with Penne with Sweet Summer Vegetables, Pine Nuts and Herbs

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Looking to try a tasty, meatless dish? Follow this link for some Meatless Monday with Penne with Sweet Summer Vegetables, Pine Nuts and Herbs

http://www.miratelinc.com/blog/meatless-monday-with-penne-with-sweet-summer-vegetables-pine-nuts-and-herbs/

Seven Easy Ways to Cook with Leftovers by Molly Morgan

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My mother calls leftovers “must-goes” – everything in the refrigerator must go! Here’s a helpful article by Molly Morgan on “must-goes”:

Use these ingredient-saving ideas to get more mileage out of what’s sitting in your fridge.

Leverage Your Leftovers

1. What you’ve got: Leftover vegetables
Make this: Teriyaki stir-fry

Here’s how: Keep a large airtight container in your fridge and use it to store leftover cooked vegetables from meals made throughout the week. At the end of the week (don’t store produce for more than seven days), place veggies in a skillet or wok, stir-fry with your favorite teriyaki marinade, and serve over brown rice.

2. What you’ve got: Extra onion
Make this: Sautéed onions

Here’s how: Chop onion, sauté in a skillet for 7–10 minutes until lightly browned, and serve over grilled chicken, fish, or steak.

3. What you’ve got: Excess avocado
Make this: Green smoothie

Here’s how: Place avocado in a blender with 1 cup frozen tropical fruit (like mango and/or pineapple), ½ cup of baby spinach, and a splash of orange juice. Blend until smooth.

4. What you’ve got: Too much steak
Make this: Steak sandwich

Here’s how: Slice leftover steak into thin strips. In a skillet add ¼ of a sweet onion (sliced) and ¼ of a red pepper (sliced), and sauté for 7–10 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. Add steak and sauté with the vegetables until heated through. Top with shredded Swiss cheese and serve on a whole-wheat roll.

Here’s more: http://m.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/seven-easy-ways-to-cook-with-leftovers

Try This Delicious Weight-Loss Trick by: Jessica Girdwain

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Zesty dish = slimmer waist? Adding herbs and spices to a reduced-fat meal can make it just as appetizing as the real thing, says a new study from the University of Colorado.

People ate same-sized portions of regular (650 calories), reduced-fat (395 calories), and reduced-fat with spices (including onion, oregano, and paprika) meals of meatloaf, vegetables, and pasta. The eaters then rated the dishes for likability. The results: When made with spices, the reduced-fat meatloaf and vegetables scored higher than the regular versions, suggesting that spicing up food could make up for missing fat.

1. Cinnamon: Known for its blood sugar-lowering properties, cinnamon doesn’t just spruce up sweet stuff like oatmeal and rice pudding. Try it in savory dishes, too: Sprinkle the spice on baked acorn squash or roasted carrots, or add a half-teaspoon to a stew of chicken, rice, and tomatoes, Weisenberger says.

Read about more spices here: http://news.menshealth.com/try-this-delicious-weight-loss-trick/2013/07/19/

Best On The Go Meal Plan by Melissa Koerner

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You’re busy. You’re working long days. You want to eat healthy, but you don’t have the time to make meals.

I completely understand.

To help make planning tomorrow’s meals really easy for you I’m sharing with you one of my personal on-the-go meal plans.

By taking just a few minutes to think ahead about what you need to sustain you for your 8+ hour day ahead, instead of reaching for something in the vending machine or ordering lunch out when the hunger pangs strike, you are going to have some healthy foods on hand that will make you FEEL BETTER and help you get though your day with more energy, better mental focus and a full, happy belly!

Here are five items to pack in your cooler before you head out the door for a long day’s work ahead. (Of course, you can always pack your cooler the night before, which is what I do to make the morning less stressful.)

1. Very Berry Green Smoothie
This is my go-to breakfast smoothie. It’s packed with healthy fats, proteins and carbs, so it’s really filling. But most importantly, it tastes good!

Here’s what you need to make it:

8-10oz plain, full-fat organic yogurt
¼ c frozen raspberries
¼ c frozen strawberries
¼ c frozen blueberries
¼ c frozen blackberries
1 heaping handful of greens (I like spinach, swiss chard and/or kale)
1-2 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 tbsp buckwheat
1 tbsp coconut oil

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until you achieve the desired consistency. Pour into an insulated stainless steel container so it stays cool until you’re ready to drink it.

Here’s my secret smoothie weapon…

2. Greens with Fresh Veggies and Hard Boiled Eggs

Taking a salad to work is a great option because you don’t have to heat it in the microwave (the microwave destroys the heck out of your food!)

Not to mention that organic greens help detoxify your liver so they basically help keep your body clean.

There are some many different ways to make a salad—the combinations are endless.

But here’s what I make when I want to keep in really simple:

Mixed greens (lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, kale etc.—I buy the pre-made organic greens so they’re already washed and ready to go.)
Yellow peppers
Hard boiled eggs
Fermented carrots (These add a nice flavor and the juice makes for a tasty dressing; I like the company “Real Pickles”)
2 tbsp flax oil
2 tbsp sunflower seeds

If you get bored eating salads, I suggest mixing up your proteins. I typically use the leftovers of my dinner from the night before.

3. Apple Slices
I suggest slicing your apple so you can eat half as your mid-morning snack and the other half as your midafternoon snack. Be sure to buy organic apples. They’re on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) “Dirty Dozen List.”

4. Almond Butter
Almond butter is my favorite nut butter! Almonds are not only a great source of proteins and fats, but they’re also a great source of calcium. Put 1-2 tbsp of almond butter in a small glass container to dip your apple slices in for a balanced snack.

5. Water
Pack a water bottle—either a stainless steel Kleen Kanteen or glass container—so you always have water on you. The ideal amount of water to drink each day is about 50% of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weighed 140 pounds you’d drink 70 ounces of water each day.

So there you have five things to pack in your lunch cooler tomorrow!

And if you’re looking for some more quick and healthy meal ideas, I urge you to check out our DIY Healthy Solutions On The Go Program which is available online for you to access at your convenience.

http://friendyourbody.com/profiles/blogs/best-on-the-go-meal-plan#

7 Foods That Reduce Stress by Barbara Mendez

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Feeling overwhelmed at work? Try adding some of these stress-busting foods to your diet.

Most people struggle with balancing life demands with work commitments. But for entrepreneurs, finding balance can seem near impossible. The pressure of getting everything done can be overwhelming. And, if left unchecked, that stress can lead to other issues, including high blood pressure and depression.

Worst of all, stress leads people make poor food choices. When you self-medicate with junk food, it can actually amplify anxiety and do more damage to your health. But there are a few healthy foods that actually help offset stress. Include these in your regular diet, and you’ll feel more grounded and more productive. You might even lose a few pounds in the process.

1. Turkey. Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that boosts serotonin production, which helps alleviate stress. Add turkey to your morning omelet or slice it up into a salad at lunch.

2. Spinach. This leafy vegetable is great source of magnesium, a mineral that helps promote a sense of calm. Spinach, which is a great source of fiber, also helps boost your energy levels. Opt for this instead of lettuce in your salad at lunch.

3. Salmon. This fish is full of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, which help to boost serotonin production. The DHA (docosahexanoic acid) in Omega 3 fats help to nourish the brain while mitigating stress hormones. Plus, the Omega 3 in salmon can reduce inflammation and promote healthy blood flow, both of which are compromised with chronic stress. Enjoy wild Alaskan salmon up to three times a week.

4. Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are a rich source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids, which help reduce stress. Walnuts are one of the best sources of Omega 3s. Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain tryptophan, which boosts serotonin production and can take the edge off a stressful day. Have a handful of nuts as an afternoon snack.

5. Oatmeal. The complex carbohydrates in oatmeal help to boost serotonin production. Plus, oats have a lot of calming magnesium as well as potassium, which has been shown to help lower blood pressure. Have a bowl for breakfast with some walnuts and cashews, as well as some cinnamon to help stabilize your blood sugar, and you will on your way to a more tranquil day.

6. Citrus fruit. Oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits are a great way to get your vitamin C, which studies show reduces stress levels. Plus, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that boosts your immune system. Have an orange in the afternoon for a calming and nourishing snack.

7. Sweet potatoes and carrots. Root vegetables are a good source of fiber and carbohydrates, which can help to boost serotonin production. Plus, because they are subtly sweet, they can offset cravings for sugar. Sweet potatoes and carrots are also a great source of vitamins and minerals that are good for your blood pressure and your heart. Have a handful of baby carrots with some almond butter in the afternoon or a sweet potato with dinner a couple of times a week.

http://www.inc.com/barbara-mendez/7-foods-that-reduce-stress.html

Barbara Mendez is a nutritionist in New York City. For more information about her private practice, visit BarbaraMendezNutrition.com.

What Do I Do With Quinoa by Aurelia d’Andrea

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I can still remember the day I learned that quinoa is actually pronounced “KEEN-wah” and not, as I’d been calling it for an embarrassingly long time, “kwin-OH-ah.” That revelatory moment was nearly as profound as when I tasted quinoa for the very first time. How could I have been so slow to catch on to this delicious, fast-cooking, nutrient-dense food—and its proper pronunciation?

In the last couple of decades, quinoa has experienced a bit of a renaissance, but it’s been around for a very long time—5,000 years, give or take a few centuries. The Incas are credited with domesticating the wild weed, and it’s still a major crop in the Andes, where it is grown for a worldwide export market as well as eaten by local populations.
Technically, quinoa isn’t a grain, but a seed; like close cousin amaranth, the plant produces willowy flowers loaded with tiny grain-like seeds that spill out of miniscule husks when dried. It’s gluten-free and easily digestible, making it a healthy alternative to barley, rye, bulgur, and other foods in the wheat family.

Quinoa’s flavor (nutty and earthy) and texture (firm and mildly crunchy) lend it to many modes of edible enjoyment. I’ve been known to eat it straight out of the pot (I cook it in a rice cooker) with just a sprinkle of salt or a splash of soy sauce. It’s also an ace stand-in for any cooked grain you might serve with vegetables, and especially in main-dish salads; simply add a cup or two of cooked and cooled quinoa to a large salad bowl, throw in some chopped veggies—onion, bell pepper, corn, black beans, or even smoked tofu—then toss with your favorite vinaigrette. The quinoa absorbs all the delicious flavors and doesn’t go soggy, and it tastes even better the next day.

Besides the standard tan-colored quinoa, there’s a red variety with a firmer, even nuttier texture. It’s equally nutritious, but not as widely available as the regular stuff.

Read more here: http://www.vegetariantimes.com/blog/what-do-i-do-with-quinoa/

Steaming Vegetables Recipe

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May 14, 2013|4 Comments
Simple steamed vegetables are one of the reasons I love eating in Japan. I mean, let’s be honest, I probably like steamed vegetables more than most, but I enjoy them exponentially more in Japan. Somehow, many of the things I love about traveling there are summed up in this simple preparation. I’d often receive a sampling of seasonal produce as part of a combination lunch, the vegetables arriving at the table beautifully arranged in the bamboo basket they were steamed in. I’d work my way through a rainbow of vibrant, tender potatoes, squash, mushrooms, broccoli rabe, and the like, sometimes adding a pinch of zesty shichimi togarashi, but more often than not, a casual toss of a few grains of salt would be all. Each time, a vibrant, satisfying reminder of just how good vegetables can be when prepared simply with care and intent. After this past trip, my cheap, tri-level bamboo steamer was promptly dusted upon my arrival home, and put into proper rotation. The thing that never ceases to surprise me is the speed even the most hearty chunks of root vegetables or squash become tender – ten minutes, often less.

Bamboo steamers are easy to come by, and relatively inexpensive. The one downside is they take up a good amount of storage space, not much more than a big pot, but still. The steamers are available in a range of diameters, and are made of interlocking trays intended for stacking on atop of the other. Placed above simmering water, the steam from the water rises through the trays and cooks the food. It’s a simple premise that works astoundingly well. I use three trays, but you can certainly go up or down a level.

A few things I’ve learned:

- While steaming with water is most common, I’ve also played around using miso broth, vegetable broth, vegetable dashi, or tea in place of water. Each imparts a different scent and flavor to the vegetables. More times than not though, I use water.

- Arrange your slowest cooking vegetables in the bottom basket, working up to the quickest. Another time saver is to get your densest, slowest cooking vegetables started in in the bottom tray, while you prep the quicker cooking vegetables for the mid and top baskets. Place the lid on whatever basket is on top at the time.

- Some people line their steamers with cabbage leaves or parchment. I don’t bother, placing the vegetables directly on the steamer instead. I like how it seems to keep the steam circulating. A quick scrub with hot water and the rough side of a sponge makes clean-up simple.

So, less of a recipe, and more of a reminder today of how good the most basic preparations can be. -h

Steaming Vegetables
HS: This is how I put together a sample of steamed vegetables. I use a three-tiered bamboo steamer, the sort that is available in most culinary shops.

a sampling of seasonal vegetables
flaky sea salt

to finish: good olive oil, a few drops of toasted sesame oil, or shallot oil

equipment: a bamboo basket steamer, preferably three levels. And, your steamer needs to fit inside your cooking skillet.

Wash your vegetables well, and cut them into bite-sized pieces. I tend to leave peels on, but it is a personal preference. Arrange them, in a single layer, in steamer trays according to needed cooking time. For example:

Bottom tray: equal-sized chunks of slower-cooking vegetables. For example: sweet potato, potato, winter squash, beets. These usually cook through in about ten minutes.

Middle-tray: equal sized pieces of broccoli, cauliflower

Top-tray/last minute: asparagus, fava beans (inner pods), snap peas

Bring an inch of water to a simmer in a skillet large enough to accommodate the diameter of your steamer. The water should not be so high that it makes contact with the vegetables when the steamer is placed in the skillet – do a quick test if needed, and remove some water if needed.

The goal here is to have your vegetables perfectly cooked and ready to serve just before you sit down. And, ideally, all of the vegetables finish cooking at the same time. Here’s how you do it. Roughly ten minutes before you’re ready to serve, place the slow-cooking, bottom tray vegetables over the simmering water, covered. Let them steam there until they’re about 2/3 cooked, about 6-7 minutes. Test, and cut into any root vegetables toward the end to make sure they’re going to be cooked through. The mid tray only needs 3-4 minutes, so add that next, moving the lid up a level. And the top tray vegetables, like snap peas and asparagus, just need a kiss of steam to brighten, barely a minute. Add that last. Or if you only have two baskets, add these to the broccoli/cauliflower basket to finish. You’ll have to make slight adjustments based on the sizes of your vegetables, but this is the general idea. Cook them until they’re bright, just tender, and taste good to you.

I like to quickly arrange the steamed vegetable, nested, in one basket to serve along with a drizzle of good oil – toasted sesame, shallot, olive oil, herb, etc. With a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

Serves 4.

Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 10 min

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/steaming-vegetables-recipe.html

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