Category Archives: Holiday

Holiday Kale, Yam & Pomegranate Salad

Holiday Kale, Yam & Pomegranate Salad

Serves 4-6 people

Salad Ingredients

1 large bunch curly kale (or baby kale)
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 large yam or sweet potato, diced
1/2 pomegranate, seeded
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup Goat or Feta cheese, optional
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Olive oil, drizzled

Vinaigrette Ingredients

1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 small shallot, cut in quarters

Instructions

Blend all vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and pour into cruet. Set aside.

Cut yams or sweet potatoes into ¼ inch size cubes. Toss with olive oil, maple syrup and cinnamon. Roast in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until tender. Let cool.

Wash kale and remove stems. If using curly kale, tear into small pieces into a large bowl. Pour 4 Tbsps of vinaigrette onto kale and massage with your hands for 2 minutes to soften the kale leaves. (If using baby kale, skip this step.)

Remove the seeds from pomegranate into a small bowl.

Layer the red onion, roasted yams, pomegranate seeds, pecans and goat or feta cheese over the kale.

Serve with additional vinaigrette and enjoy!

Why Gratitude is the Secret Sauce to Health

Why Gratitude is the Secret Sauce to Health

It’s never a bad time to pause and feel gratitude for everything you have in your life. The holiday’s are a perfect time to take a minute to remember what we are grateful for.

Gratitude is the foundation of health, because when you appreciate the simple things – like the breeze on your face or the fact that you’re simply alive – it’s much easier to make positive changes toward even better health.

When you’re stressed about your imperfect health and beating yourself up about not being good enough, you send your body into a stressed state, causing you to release the hormone cortisol.

This makes you feel anxious and irritable, and it’s much more likely that you’ll order a large fries and chocolate milkshake instead of a nice, hearty, vegetable-centric dish.

When you’re feeling relaxed and grateful for how far you’ve come on your health journey, you’re much more likely to make good choices.

So, what makes you feel grateful?

Answering this simple question can shift your mood in seconds. Feeling thankful for what you already have creates a positive ripple effect in your life, making it way less likely you’ll dwell on perceived shortcomings.

It’s easy to take for granted a happy marriage, nurturing friendships, good health, or even the roof over your head, but these aspects of life sustain you every day.

Taking a moment to acknowledge and appreciate what’s good in your life does wonders for your well-being.

In fact, studies have shown that a regular gratitude practice can improve your happiness by as much as 25 percent, and keeping a gratitude journal for as little as three weeks can result in better sleep and more energy. Happiness leads to healthiness, since the production of feel-good hormones like serotonin support all bodily functions, including digestion.

You can start your own gratitude practice with something as simple as saying an affirmation each day.

Try this simple one: I’m grateful for my health and the health of my loved ones.

What will you do to express your gratitude this holiday season?  Leave a comment below or post in the Facebook group.

Know someone who would find this useful? Please be social and share!

Easy & Delicious Mexican Turkey Burgers

Easy & Delicious Mexican Turkey Burgers

Last night, I wanted a quick healthy dinner that would use my ground turkey and butternut squash I had on hand.  As usual, I went to my favorite place for recipe ideas … Pinterest … plugged in the search field “turkey burger butternut squash” and up came a recipe for a Mexican Chicken Burgers.  I love just about any Mexican dish so this piqued my interest, especially since it is Cinco de Mayo week.

Not having the exact ingredients on hand, I improvised a little.  Something to note about ground turkey or chicken burgers, depending on the ingredients and spices you use, it can turn out to be super dry and super bland too.  I’ve learned over my years of trial and error cooking, to add pureed wet vegetables (like squash) and a myriad of spices to poultry burgers to make them delicious.  This recipe I made did not disappoint me or my husband.  It also is a great choice if you are gluten free, dairy free, grain free and refined sugar free.

If possible, use fresh or frozen organic and non-gmo ingredients.  It’s important to the health of our cells to eat foods that have not been genetically modified and that are chemical-free (a topic for another article).

And it’s okay to use some minimally processed foods as long as they are made with whole food ingredients, free from additives and chemicals.  There are times when we have to rely on these foods to help with quick meal preparation.  My dinner last night was an example of how I incorporate minimally processed foods and still keep my meals healthy.

was modified and served with All Natural Alexia French Fries and organic fresh green beans.

Mexican Turkey Burgers

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients

Patties:

1 lb ground turkey, organic and pasture raised
8 oz frozen butternut squash, organic
1/4 red onion, organic
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 clove garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
1 egg
6 Tbsp almond flour
1 lime, juice and zest
1 jalapeño finely diced
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

Burger Toppings:

Wholly guacamole
Nature’s Promise organic salsa
Red onion, chopped

Instructions:

Add all patty ingredients to a large food processor and blend until thoroughly mixed and onion is chopped fine.  If you do not have a food processor, you can hand chop the onions, garlic and cilantro and add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix with your hands.  Due to the squash, this mixture will be loose and will not form into firm patties.

Heat an indoor griddle or outdoor grill to medium high heat.  If using an outdoor grill, be sure to use a BBQ grilling mat so your patties don’t fall through the grill grids.

Cook the patties for approximately 6-8 minutes per side until cooked through.  Given that this mixture is moist and depending on the size of the patties, it may take longer.

To serve, top your burgers with guacamole, salsa and chopped onion and serve warm with All Natural Alexia French Fries and organic fresh green beans.  Bon appetit!