Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Arugula and Fig Salad

This salad is easy, fast and packed with nutrients. The sweetness of the figs provides a unique flavor that pairs perfectly with the balsamic vinegar. 

Preparation time: 10 minutes Servings: 4 


6 cups fresh washed arugula or rocket
1 pomegranate or 1 cup of grapes, halved
1 pound figs, washed and quartered substitute with dried figs if fresh are not in season
¼ cup toasted almonds
3 tablespoons cherry balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons blood orange olive oil
A pinch of salt


Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Protein Packed Granola Bars

Protein Packed Granola Bars

These granola bars make an economic, fast and healthy breakfast, paired with coffee or a cup of milk for the kids. Make them when you have a free moment and enjoy them for the rest of the week.  They make great grab and go morning meals. 

Serving: 16
Preparation time: 10 minutes plus 30 minutes baking


2 cups old fashion oatmeal
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup chia seeds
½ cup hemp seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup whole wheat flour 
½ cup raisins
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup honey
½ cup corn oil
1 egg beat
2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x13 Pyrex dish.
2. In a medium sized bowl combine the dry ingredients: oatmeal, brown sugar, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, spices, flour, salt and raisins. Stir with a spoon until combined. 
3. In a small mixing bowl add the wet ingredients: oil, honey, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix together until egg is fully beat and ingredients are well combined. 
Note: add the oil first then use the same measuring cup to add the honey so the honey won't stick to the measuring cup. 
4. Combine the wet and dry mixtures and mix with a spoon until the dry mixture is evenly coated. 
5. Spoon granola mix into the greased pan, distribute evenly and gently press down with your hand. 
6. Bake granola in the oven for about 30 minutes until edges turn golden brown. Remove from over and let cool for 10 minutes then cut bars and remove from the pan. If you wait too long and they cool down the bars will crumble as you cut and remove them. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Easy, Tasty Oatmeal

Oatmeal has a bad wrap! Most people view it as boring and bland.  Not only is oatmeal extremely healthy with loads of fiber but with the proper recipe it is easy to make and super yummy. I make a pot full and leave it in the fridge.  Then for breakfast in a rush, I just zap it in the microwave for a minute with a little milk and there you go, a healthy homemade breakfast in seconds.

Cooking Time: 15 minutes Servings: 4


4 cups 1% milk

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup pitted and chopped dates or 3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 cups old fashion oatmeal


Cooking Instructions

1.      Put milk, cinnamon and dates in a thick based pot turn heat on medium and bring milk to a boil.

2.    Add oatmeal, turn heat down to low and let oatmeal simmer for 10 minutes.

3.    Once oatmeal is at the desired texture remove from heat, let it cool for a couple minutes and serve.


Friday, February 28, 2014

Vegan Crockpot Chili

As a parents we are always busy, running from one obstacle to another.  Whether you are a stay-at-home dad, an executive mom, or a homeschooling parent; we just cannot keep up with all the demands and delights of parenthood, not to mention cook a decent meal.  So in an effort to provide my growing children with a healthy diet and appetizing food, I began to embrace my crockpot.  In effort to live up to my dreams of feeding my family a clean cuisine in the shortest amount of time possible I came up with this vegan recipe.  We couldn’t get enough of it, and I made extra so there was enough left over for lunch for a couple days too.  If you are using dried beans instead of canned remember to soak them 24 hours in advance.  Dried beans are cheaper with less salt, chemicals and preservatives than canned beans.

Vegan Crockpot Chili

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Servings: 10-12


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion chopped

4 cloves of garlic minced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon flaked basil

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups of dry kidney beans soaked overnight or 2 cans of organic PBA free kidney beans.

2 fifteen ounce cans low sodium tomato sauce

1 cup red or orange sweet peppers chopped (red or orange so the family will not know they are there)


1.       Put olive oil in a skillet and sauté onions, garlic, cumin, basil and black pepper until onion start to lightly brown.

2.       In your crockpot, put the beans in first, then the tomato sauce and onion mixture then combine.  Finally put the peppers on top.  Cover the crockpot and turn to low if you want it to be ready in 8 hours or more.  Set to crockpot to high if you want it done in 4 hours.

3.       Once it is done, stir in the peppers and serve with a side of rice or crusted bread.  Most importantly, add a salad or some roasted vegetables as a healthy side.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Healthy Heart

How is your heart doing today? Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States.  One in every four deaths is due to heart disease and every year there are about 935,000 heart attacks in America.  But have no fear; heart disease is preventable in most cases.  Choices you make every day affect the health of your heart.  Making healthy choices to prevent heart disease can be easier and tastier than you think. 

1.       Drink more water: Water helps you cut calories by making you feel full so you eat less.  If you substitute water for sugary drinks, you can reduce your calorie intake dramatically.  Soda and juices can cause of obesity in both adults and children; water on the other had is calorie free.  On top of costing nothing, water helps prevent heart disease through shedding the extra pounds.  Now that is a win-win.


2.        Reduce Salt: Salt contributes to high blood pressure which can lead to stokes and heart attacks.  The simplest way to cut salt is to eat less processed foods and add less salt while cooking and eating.  For a couple days you will notice a difference in taste, but once you get accustomed to less salt you will wonder how you ever ate so much before.



3.       Eat your greens: Fruits and vegetables provide valuable potassium which is crucial to heart health.  Potassium reduces blood pressure, helps your heart pump properly and helps prevent heart failure.  Fruits and vegetables also aid in reducing cholesterol because the fiber in them binds to cholesterol in the intestine then leaves the body.  Going green does not have to be expensive.  Buy fruit and vegetables in season; they are cheaper, bursting with taste and have the most vitamins and minerals.  Dried beans serve as an inexpensive source of fiber, protein and iron.  Kids love tangerines, grapes and berries and they nice for outings with the family and road trips.


4.       Choose whole grains and oatmeal: Studies show eating whole grains, particularly oatmeal, help reduce cholesterol and induce weight loss.  Both properties play an important role preserving the health of your heart.  Making the switch is easy and high fiber content will make you feel full for awhile, so you will eat less.  Use 100% whole wheat bread for sandwiches; switch to brown rice and buy cereals that contain oatmeal, granola and bran.  In these cold winter months a warm oatmeal breakfast with a side of fruit makes breakfast a meal to look forward to.



5.       Get Moving: Research shows exercise plays a vital role in heart health, but it also revealed anything is better than nothing.  You do not need to do P90X to reap the health healthy benefits of exercise.  A 30 minute walk three times a week can make all the difference.  Take a stroll around your local mall, do some Zumba in the privacy of your living room, enjoy an evening walk around the neighborhood with the whole family.  Exercise does not have to be at the gym; there are numerous free, fun ways to get moving.  A little movement makes a big difference.

These small changes will benefit the health of your entire family.  Choose a few goals and make the change slowly.  We get set in our ways and big changes become difficult.  Baby steps are the key for success and take it day-by-day. For instance, start by adding more water and cut out one sugary drink a day for a week.  Next week substitute water for two sugary drinks.  Do not feel bad if you do not fulfill your goals once in awhile, tomorrow is another day and you will do better.  Every good day is a little victory, enjoy it. 

Remember February 1st is Nation Wear Red day to spread awareness about heart disease and February is Nation Go Red Month. Talk to your friends, family and coworkers about the risks of heart disease and how easily it can be prevented.  Get involved and spread the word, you may save a life.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bok Choy and Quinoa with Mushrooms

People eat and prepare food for two main reasons, taste or health benefit.  I eat and cook for both.  My constant search for healthy recipes never ceases and yesterday I cooked this up.  As usual I read a recipe I liked, found I did not have half the ingredients it called for so I invented my own.  This recipe uses bok choy and shiitake mushrooms, both vegetables I was experimenting with for the first time.   Full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants this recipe should not need any more convincing but it is also extremely tasty.

Mushroom Quinoa:

½ cup uncooked quinoa

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium onion chopped

1 head bok choy chopped

½ pound shiitake mushrooms chopped

½ pound portabella mushrooms chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

¾ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon pepper


First, we are going to start the quinoa: Put 1 cup water and a touch of salt in a pot and bring to a boil.  Once the water boils, add quinoa, turn heat to medium and cover the pot.  When all the water has boiled away, about 20 minutes turn off the heat but keep the lid on until you are ready to use it.

While the quinoa is cooking, clean and chop the veggies.  Put the olive oil in a thick based pot at medium heat and add the minced garlic and chopped onions.  Saute for a couple minutes until the onion are translucent and garlic gets a brownish tint.  Now add the mushrooms and the bok choy cook for about 15 minutes.  Once the bok choy and mushrooms are tender, add coriander and pepper, mix it in. 

When you are ready to serve the dish, mix the quinoa with the mushrooms and enjoy.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Fruity Coleslaw

This recipes will fill your kids with fruits and vegetables without the complaining. Invite your kids to help prepare this kid-friendly recipe. Studies show children are more likely to try recipes they were included in the perpetration. But trust me, they will need no additional convincing to eat this creamy, healthier version to traditional coleslaw. 

2 medium sized carrots
4 cups shredded cabbage
2 medium apples
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain yogurt
A dash of salt
1 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)

Grate the apples and carrots after peeling them. Shred the cabbage. Add all the apple, carrots, and cabbage together in a big mixing bowl. Mix together with mayonnaise, yogurt and salt. Put the coleslaw in a serving dish and garnish with parsley. Enjoy! Makes 6 servings.