"Hello to Hidden Veggies Breakfast Smoothie"

 

This delicious and easy to make smoothie is ideal for a quick, on-the-go, breakfast and the perfect way to say "hello to hidden vegetables" for picky adults and kids who won't eat or drink anything green.  Tip:  When making for kids don't let them see the greens until after they've tasted it.  You can also start out with a "1/2 cup" of the spinach or kale until they get used to it. 

Ingredients

  • 1 - Small banana or half of an avocado
  • 1 cup - Spinach or kale
  • 1 cup - Frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup - Greek or plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup - Coconut water or apple juice
  • 1/2 cup - Ice or water (depending on your blender)

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.  If needed, add extra ice or water until desired consistency is achieved.

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"Sunday Prep School"

This past Sunday, the second installment of my meal prep class, “Sunday Prep School,” was held at Normandy Perk on what was an exceptionally sunny and warm day.  We actually experienced temperatures close to 80 degrees in the Seattle area!  Similar to my previous meal prep class, I planned five delicious and healthy dinners for participants to prepare for the week ahead of time - Lime Cilantro Steak, Lemon Chicken with Broccoli, Basil & Garlic Pork Chops, Chicken Fajitas, and a Spinach & Kale salad.  This time around participants were given the option of tailoring these meals to their household by being responsible for the “protein” grocery shopping allowing them to adjust the serving ratio to meet their needs.  All of the organic vegetables, oils, garlic, spices, and clean up materials were supplied by me to simplify what was required in order to participate in the class.

Along with experiencing terrific weather, having the ability to conduct the class at Normandy Perk was an added benefit.  It’s such a cool and spacious coffee shop that allowed us to stretch out and have plenty of room to have fun preparing these meals to take home.  It was also great to enjoy the complementary beverages (coffee & tea) provided by the awesome people at Normandy Perk.  The atmosphere at the coffee shop was a perfect match for the wonderful group of participants who bonded and laughed while they chopped and diced a total of 48 meals.

I couldn’t have asked for a better group of attendees.  Everyone was friendly and they openly chatted with each other by sharing tips and ideas for making healthy meals.  The idea of having a “BBQ themed meal prep” was brought up since the weather was teasing us with a taste of summer.   I thought this was a terrific idea and I hope to have a class dedicated to “BBQ” very soon.  If you have any themed specific ideas for a meal prep class, feel free to drop me a line.  Lastly, I like to give a big thanks to all who attended and Normandy Perk for making such a great day possible!

"Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Walnuts"

This Brussels sprouts recipe is a quick and easy side dish to accompany beef, chicken, or pork.  By roasting the sprouts their bitter taste is eliminated and a nutty flavor is produced, which makes them a good dish to try on your picky eater.  The pomegranate seeds and walnuts provide crunchy and sweet elements that will win over any person who claims not to like Brussels sprouts. 

It may seem like extra work, but toasting the walnuts is worth the effort since it brings out their natural oils and minimizes their bitterness.  Just arrange the walnuts on a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F.  Toast them for 5-10 mins until they start to brown and smell toasted.  Let them cool to room temperature and store in air tight bag or container. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound - Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 Tablespoons - Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup - Pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup - Walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon - Unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Heat oil over medium high heat in a roasting pan or large skillet.  Add sprouts cut side down and cook for 5-7 mins.  Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven until the sprouts are nicely roasted and fork tender, approx. 20-25 mins.  Remove from oven and add the pomegranate seeds, walnuts, and butter, toss to coat.  Transfer to platter to serve.

"Meal Prep for the Week"

My “Meal Prep for the Week” class, an interactive demonstration on how to prepare five meals for the week, was held at Pier View Chiropractic this past Saturday.  The class was an introduction to why meal preparation can be a strategic part of the nutritional puzzle.  We all have heard that healthy is the new skinny and how it’s the goal for so many of us, but when we work long hours, have families, pets, workout, and other obligations, it can be difficult for us to make good choices.  Ultimately, the purpose of the class was aimed at overcoming our busy schedules and creating a strategy that will allow us to make healthy home cooked meals.

I found the class to be a bonding experience where I felt a tremendous sense of community among us.  We came together and talked about our lives as we prepped the five meals I planned for this class: Lemon pepper chicken with broccoli; Pork chops; Steak and potatoes, Red pepper chicken; and a huge salad.  Yum!  We actively talked about tips and tricks for eating healthy among other dietary concerns. 

We also discussed how to get more vegetables into our diets and how to make those less popular vegetables taste better, which I’m planning to tackle in my upcoming class, "Picky Eaters,” March 24th from 6:30 - 7:30 at Pier View Chiropractic.  Besides leaving feeling accomplished and more knowledgeable on how to eat healthier, the best part of the class is everyone who attended the class had five meals to take home with them that were ready to go for the busy week.  Stay tuned to my blog to find out when the next "Meal Prep" class will be conducted and we'll get cooking healthier together!

"Family Engagement"

Last night I conducted a fun event at Beacon Hill International School where I gave a nutrition demonstration created for parents and children on how easy it is to make healthy foods.  I was asked to give parents healthy and affordable food ideas beyond boring old celery sticks and carrots.  We started the night with my “Simply Savory Kale Chips,” since they only require three ingredients. 

Some tips for making a great kale chip is to cook them until they're really flaky, and because every oven is somewhat different (heat wise) you have to keep checking on them until they’re perfect.  Another trick I learned is to add the kale, olive oil, and sea salt into a large Ziploc bag and shake it.  Lastly, don't use too much sea salt or they'll be too salty.  The kale chips were an immediate hit with the adults, but the kids were reluctant to try them at first.  However, once my four-year-old daughter Alaina tried them, the other kids joined in and the next thing you know they were all asking for more.

What the kids didn’t hesitate to try and loved the most were my “fuel bites,” which can be part of a healthy breakfast, snack, or even served as a dessert.  Of course, the adults loved the fuel bites as well.  I made two variations on my recipe: one with sun butter; and the other with Adams Peanut Butter.  I recommend getting a no-stir peanut butter, such as Adams, to avoid additional prep time.  You can make many different fuel bite variations by adding some coconut or different types of chocolate chips, I try to keep them healthy by using dark chocolate or semi chocolate with a high cocoa content. 

The best thing about my fuel bites is the next time you want to do a fun kitchen activity with your kids making these together can teach them about healthy foods that are not only easy to make but taste delicious.  The kids at this event were able to put their hands into the mix, roll it into balls, and eat their own creation.  If you have any questions or comments please post below and until then enjoy some tasty recipe treats that are adult and kid friendly.

“No Bake Fuel Bites”

  • 1 cup, oats
  • 1/2 cup, peanut butter (sun butter can be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup, raw honey
  • 1/3 cup, raisins
  • 1 tablespoon, chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon, ground flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon, ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon or your hands until mixture comes together.  Refrigerate mixture for at least 20 minutes.  Remove mixture from refrigerator, roll into 1” sized balls and place onto a plate.  Cover and place plate in refrigerator or freezer until ready to eat.

“Simply Savory Kale Chips”

This quick and easy kale chip recipe is a great alternative to potato chips.  I’ve made this healthy and affordable snack at my daughter’s preschool since it’s a treat that the kids will devour.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how simple these are to make.  As a suggestion, cover your baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick foil to reduce clean-up time.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 bunches - Kale, washed and dried, thick ribs and stems removed, tear or cut into bite-size pieces, about 2 to 3 inches wide
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons - Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Transfer half of the kale to a large bowl and toss with enough olive oil to coat, rubbing leaves to make sure they are well coated.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Arrange kale leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake until crisp and the edges are slightly browned, 10 – 14 mins.  Repeat with remaining batches.

"Kale Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets and Blueberries"

Like brussel sprouts, kale, as well as quinoa, seems to be on every restaurant menu these days.  Not only being tasty as the main component in a salad or soup, kale boasts some major key health benefits - one cup of raw kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, 0 grams of fat, and is high in calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K.  In addition to kale, this salad is packed with nutritious ingredients, such as beets, blueberries, pistachios, and quinoa; all of which are extremely high in dietary fiber.  This recipe also calls for soft, tangy goat cheese and depending upon your dietary needs, you’ll want to control portioning when it comes fatty consumption.

Serves: 3 - 4

Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup - White wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon - Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon - Whole grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons - Honey
  • 1/3 cup - Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Whisk together the white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, honey, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.

Salad

  • 6 to 7 cups - Kale, preferably Lacinato, thick ribs removed, cut crosswise into 1/4” ribbons, thoroughly washed and spun dry in lettuce spinner
  • 1/2 cup - Quinoa, preferably tri-color, prepared to package’s cooking instructions
  • 3/4 cup - Beets, roasted and peeled, 1/4” dice
  • 1/2 cup - Blueberries, washed and dried
  • 1/4 cup - Pistachios, roasted and salted, shelled
  • 2 oz. - Goat cheese, soft, crumbled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Rinse and scrub beets, wrap separately in foil and roast in middle of oven until fork tender, approximately 45 – 60 mins.  Let cool.  Peel beets and cut into approximately 1/4 inch dice.

Place kale in salad bowl and dress with enough vinaigrette to coat kale, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Allow kale to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. 

Add beets, blueberries, pistachios, and cooked quinoa to kale.  Toss to coat.  Divide salad onto four plates, crumble goat cheese over each salad and lightly drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.