Monthly Archives: May 2014

  • Kale, Strawberry and Avocado Salad
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    Kale Salad with Avocados, Strawberries and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Kale Salad with Avocados, Strawberries and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Kale, Strawberry and Avocado Salad Kale, Strawberry and Avocado Salad

Looking for a fresh take on your old kale salad?  This tasty dish has the best elements of Spring: sweet strawberries and creamy avocado paired with crispy red onions and savory pistachios.  If you haven’t tried a massaged kale salad, this is a good excuse to give it a whirl.  Massaging the kale with a little salt and olive oil – just for a few minutes – improves the flavor and wilts the kale slightly so that it’s tender.

Strawberries and balsamic vinegar enjoy each other immensely, so I thought I’d use a nice balsamic vinaigrette, which also has the nice benefit or mellowing out the onions so that they’re also sweet and crisp.  If you’ve been buying your salad dressing from the store you might be amazed at how simple and fast this dressing is – it literally takes about 30 seconds to whisk together!

Thanks to generous amounts of avocado and pistachios, this salad is substantial and filling enough to serve as a light main dish at lunch or dinner.  It also makes a lovely side dish to a little roasted or grilled fish.  Get more great recipes in my new cookbook here.  And definitely come on over and like us on Facebook!

Enjoy and Eat Happy!

Kale Salad with Avocados, Strawberries and Balsamic Vinaigrette
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Total Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
2 ripe avocados, pits removed and cut into ¾ inch cubes
2 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed and quartered
½ red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup [...]

Next Week’s Meal Plan Menu ~ Healthy Meal Plans

May 25 2014 meal plan photo

 

Healthy meal plans are Eat Happy Meal Plan’s specialty!  Not healthy in the low-cal, low-fat, rabbit-food kind of way.   Rather, in the – no one has adulterated these ingredients to strip the awesome nutrients from them – kind of way.  Just look at that list of amazing produce that’s worked into the week of dishes!  Farm-fresh arugula, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, kale, mushrooms, peppers, etc.  Eating this way places so many nutrients in the body.  I have seen it hundreds of times in my health coaching clients – the body just starts working better.

Next week’s meal plan is full of one-dish wonders.  Here is the full line-up:

~Warm Lentil and Kale Salad with Portobello Mushrooms
~Beef and Broccoli with Brown Rice
~Arugula and Asparagus Salad with Prosciutto and Parmesan with Whole Grain Rolls or Crackers 
~Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Salad

Eat Happy Meal Plan will be immensely beneficial to you if you want to eat this way, but don’t have the time (or knowledge or experience or desire) to do the planning.  Eat Happy Meal Plan does the work for you, and makes it mindless and delicious.

Sign up today to get your Eat Happy Meal Plan each Thursday in your inbox.

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Warm Lentil Salad with Kale and Portobello Mushrooms

Lentil Salad with Kale and Mushrooms Lentil Salad with Kale and Mushrooms

This lentil salad right here is a bowl full of health.  Lentils are off the chart on a number of awesome nutrients, including molybdenum, folate, copper, phosphorus and iron. (Sometimes I seriously wonder how something so boring looking can be so incredibly full of good stuff.)  Throwing in the kale and portobello mushrooms makes this salad a pretty epic dish of vitamins and minerals galore.  Need a pick-me-up?  Put down the 5-hour energy and make this for dinner.

Not that that’s the only reason to eat it.  The secret to this dish being super delicious is the tangy Dijon and apple cider vinegar vinaigrette.  There is something about this vinaigrette and lentils that is just harmonious.  There’s this tangy-savory dance going on.  I frequently make this dish with a little bacon, but this vegan version using mushrooms is just as good – and it’s all because of the vinaigrette.

These are regular old el cheapo green lentils, which actually look quite brown.  Other lentils are more beautiful and some, like red lentils, cook faster.  But in general I enjoy green lentils just fine, especially in a salad like this.

For the full fabulous week of meals, and a convenient shopping list and planner that’ll help you save time, sign up for the Eat Happy Meal Plan here.

Recipe:  Warm Lentil and Kale Salad with Portobello Mushrooms
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Total Prep Time: 45 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Serves:  4

 Ingredients
1 ½ cup lentils*
1 small onion, minced
1 [...]

Legit Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal goodness in a delish cookie Oatmeal goodness in a delish cookie

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that only have a sprinkling of oats are super lame.  Not like these awesome cookies, which use 100% oats and not a shake of flour.  That makes them gluten free and 100% whole grain goodness – but don’t let that detract from their cookie status.  These are definitely cookies, delicious, possibly a little addictive, and full of goodies like chocolate chips and cranberries.  Because oats have a sweeter and more robustly nutty flavor than white flour, which is what typical cookie batter is based on, I think their flavor is actually superior.

This recipe is an adaptation of this original from Martha Stewart.  Martha’s original recipes is awesome, for sure.  But I did make some changes to suit my tastes.  Namely I added some dried ginger, which I love in chocolate chip cookies, reduced the sugar a little because most cookie recipes are way too sweet for me, and added an extra step of chilling the dough, which helped prevent my cookies from spreading out too thin.  Oh, and I used cranberries instead of raisins.  You could also swap in walnuts or pecans.

I baked half of my dough into cookies after chilling, and the other half I’ll scoop into individual cookie balls and freeze for later.  You never know when you’ll need a warm cookie!  I’ll bake up a cookie or two in my toaster oven when I feel the need.

Legit Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

By |May 16th, 2014|General, Recipes|

Gluten-Free Diet Lowers Type I Diabetes in Mice

Both celiac disease and type I diabetes run in my family, so this study about how a gluten-free diet reduced incidences of type I diabetes in mice is particularly interesting.  For years researchers and holistically-oriented health care practitioners have been pointing out a link between both dairy and gluten consumption and an increase in autoimmune disease (type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease, distinctly different from type II which is generally later-onset and related to lifestyle).

This study is the first I’ve seen with this angle: showing that a gluten-free diet can actually reduce the incidence of type I diabetes in baby mice (pups).  Consuming both dairy and gluten increases intestinal permeability, which can weaken the gut environment, make nutrients more difficult to absorb, and damage the immune system.

The researchers who conducted this study have hypothesized that changes to the digestive system and resulting immune system changes could be at root of the causal link between the gluten and type I diabetes.  However, there isn’t any current research that bares out the exact nature of the connection.

I would certainly love to see more research in this area.  Some of us, who have a family history of type 1 diabetes, or any autoimmune disease as I do, may consider adopting a gluten-free diet during pregnancy and lactation, in order to reduce the likelihood of our kids getting one of these diseases.

For more information on the study, click here.  For a fail-proof roadmap to adopting a nutritious gluten-free diet check out Eat Happy Meal Plan.

  • Eat Happy Meal Plan Shopping List May 11 2014
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    This week’s Eat Happy Meal Plan ~ Healthy Meal Plans ~ May 11, 2014

This week’s Eat Happy Meal Plan ~ Healthy Meal Plans ~ May 11, 2014

Eat Happy Meal Plan Shopping List May 11 2014 Eat Happy Meal Plan Shopping List May 11 2014

Have you thought about leveraging healthy meal plans to improve your health and make your life easier?  If you are feeling confused about what to eat, or how or what to cook to get it all in, Eat Happy Meal Plan can be your lifesaver.  After working with clients for several years I realized that, even if people were told the important foods to include in their diets, they were struggling at fitting them into their routine.  So I created Eat Happy Meal Plan to help my clients and others to make the process of planning, shopping, and cooking easier.

The meals are delicious, nutrient-dense, and based on whole unprocessed foods. Here is the menu for next weeks meal plan:
1) Baked Mediterranean Trout with Tomatoes, Capers and Rosemary with Green Bean Fries and Roasted New Potatoes 
2) Spring Salad with Strawberries, Rhubarb, Hazelnuts and Poached Chicken 
3) Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Tomato Frittata with Chili Sweet Potato Fries 
4)  Sandwiches with Arugula Walnut Pesto, Roasted Red Peppers and Chicken (or Portobello Mushrooms) with a Simple Salad

So much thought goes into these meal plans – that’s time that you don’t have to spend.  It’s ease of mind that you’re now eating a nutrient-filled diet (look at all of that produce in the shopping list!).  Here are some of the considerations that go into planning Eat Happy Meal Plan:

  • Every week contains a wide range of plant-based foods, including green leafy vegetables in 90% of meals as well as an abundance of high-carotenoid foods from other vegetables
  • At least 2 meals per week use primarily plant-based [...]
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Spring Salad with Hazelnuts and Poached Chicken
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    Strawberry Rhubarb Spring Salad with Hazelnuts and Poached Chicken

Strawberry Rhubarb Spring Salad with Hazelnuts and Poached Chicken

Strawberry Rhubarb Spring Salad with Hazelnuts and Poached Chicken Strawberry Rhubarb Spring Salad with Hazelnuts and Poached Chicken

Spring brings out my obsession with all things Strawberry Rhubarb.  Strawberry rhubarb pie was my favorite growing up (ok, one of my favorites, I mean apple and pumpkin are favorites too.. but definitely my favorite spring pie!), but anyways these days – although I still love pie – I also look to get my fix of the beautiful combo in other food applications.

This past week I was thinking of a nice light salad.  A little sweet, a little tart and citrusy, but still filling enough to make it a meal.  What I ended up with is a convenient little dish, in which strawberries and rhubarb marinate together in citrus juices for a bit (while you’re poaching some lovely chicken), creating a sauce that works as a dressing for your salad greens.  The orange and lime juices soften the raw rhubarb and the honey adds just enough sweetness to make the rhubarb delightfully tart.  It’s also lovely with a little goat cheese, although that’s certainly optional.

(A note: eating raw rhubarb is cool – it’s the leaves that are toxic – they’re typically not even attached when sold, but just be sure not to eat them).

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

And if you’ve never poached chicken do not fear.  You’re literally boiling it in water so it’s about as basic and fast as it comes – you can make it fancy by adding a little wine or vinegar, [...]

This Week’s Eat Happy Meal Plan Menu ~ Healthy Meal Plans

  • "Eat Snapshot of Eat Happy Meal Plan Shopping List May 5, 2014

Have you thought about leveraging healthy meal plans to improve your health and make your life easier?  If you are feeling confused about what to eat, or how or what to cook to get it all in, Eat Happy Meal Plan can be your lifesaver.  After working with clients for several years I realized that, even if people were told the important foods to include in their diets, they were struggling at fitting them into their routine.  So I created Eat Happy Meal Plan to help my clients and others to make the process of planning, shopping, and cooking easier.

The meals are delicious, nutrient-dense, and based on whole unprocessed foods. Here is the menu for next weeks meal plan:
1) Lime and Cumin Marinated Flank Steak, Spanish Rice with Black Beans and Corn, Steamed Broccoli
2) Quick Shrimp (or Tofu) and Bok Choy Noodle Soup
3) Rice Bowls with Black Beans, Corn and Avocado
4) Asparagus and Spinach Soup with Whole Grain Crackers or Bread and Cheese

So much thought goes into these meal plans – that’s time that you don’t have to spend.  It’s ease of mind that you’re now eating a nutrient-filled diet (look at all of that produce in the shopping list!).  Here are some of the considerations that go into planning Eat Happy Meal Plan:

  • Every week contains a wide range of plant-based foods, including green leafy vegetables in 90% of meals as well as an abundance of high-carotenoid foods from other vegetables
  • At least 2 meals per week use primarily plant-based proteins [...]