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  • Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers and Shaved Parmesan
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    Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers, Shaved Parmesan, and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers, Shaved Parmesan, and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers and Shaved Parmesan Arugula and Steak Salad with Grilled Onions and Peppers and Shaved Parmesan

You know it’s a good food week when your leftover meal is even better than the original meal the leftovers came from – such is the case with this Arugula and Steak Salad. Using leftover Lime-Marinated Steak and grilled onions and peppers from Eat Happy Meal Plan’s Lime-Marinated Steak Fajitas I created this super simple and fast salad.

This salad is really well-balanced: bold steak paired with sweet onions and peppers, peppery spiced arugula, and all tied together with a sweet balsamic vinaigrette.  I added a little crunch with some sunflower seeds, and what could be wrong with some shaved Parmesan on top?  (It pairs so nicely with the balsamic vinegar!)

No worries if you don’t enjoy steak – simply sub in whatever protein you prefer – tofu, chicken, or even even shrimp will all work with the lime marinade and ultimately result in a great salad.

Arugula Salad with Grilled Steak, Onions and Peppers and Shaved Parmesan
From Eat Happy Meal Plan
Total Prep Time: 20 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Serves:  4

Ingredients
5-7 ounces arugula leaves
1-2 cups leftover grilled steak, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1-2 cups leftover grilled onions and peppers, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 ounces parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon or whole-grain mustard
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

  1. Wash the arugula leaves and spin or pat dry.  Place in individual bowls or a [...]

Sneak Peak: Meal Plan Menu for Week of June 29

Eat Happy Meal Plan Shopping List June 29, 2014

Eat Happy Meal Plan Shopping List June 29, 2014

It’s a sneak peak of next week’s Eat Happy Meal Plan Menu!  This is the menu for the week of June 29-July 5th.

We are really getting into summer now and I’m having great fun cooking simple meals with the fresh ingredients that are beginning to abound at the market.  Tomatoes, herbs, arugula, and snap peas are favorites on this week’s menu.  Even better – cook once and eat twice this week by cooking some extra steak and vegetables at the beginning of the week, then make a delicious and super-fast salad with the leftovers later in the week.  I love making menus that save time and effort.

Don’t do steak?  No problem – make the whole week vegetarian by using tofu or seitan, or sub in chicken or whichever protein you like.  They’ll marinate equally well and the recipes will still work (tips on how to make substitutions are included).

Sign up today to get your this Eat Happy Meal Plan in your inbox on Thursday.  You’ll be loving dinner next week!

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By |June 24th, 2014|General, Meal Plan|

Boost Your Natural SPF With Antioxidants

Various kinds of tomatoes Improve your natural SPF with lycopene-rich tomatoes

Here’s another reason to eat lots of antioxidant-full plant-foods – recent studies are again showing that certain foods can improve the skin’s ability to protect and heal itself – both by increasing its natural spf and by reducing cancerous skin tumors.

One study showed that supplementing the diet with tomato paste reduced the number of sunburns and improved participants’ natural SPF by up to a third:

“A study out of Athens Medical School in England found people who ate about a quarter cup of tomato paste every day, suffered fewer sunburns and raised their skin’s natural SPF by a third.  The antioxidants in dark greens like spinach disperse in your body and destroy free radicals from the sun.”

Food really is medicine in this instance.  Damage caused by the sun is almost instantly fixed by the nutrients circulating around your system from the foods you’ve eaten.

While many people assume that raw foods are always more nutritious, this isn’t always the case – especially for certain antioxidants.  One of the most widely studied and very beneficial carotenoids in tomatoes is lycopene.  Lycopene in tomatoes actually multiples when cooked, so tomato paste – which has been cooked for long periods of time and condensed –  is one of the richest sources of this powerful antioxidant.

A separate study showed that patients who already had skin cancer could reduce their cancerous tumors by over fifty percent with just one serving of leafy greens per day. Isn’t food amazing!  Don’t forget to maximize your absorption of the nutrients in these vegetables by eating them with a little fat- extra-virgin olive oil is the [...]

The Organic Debate: Ask These Fruit Flies

I love this take on the organic debate – as much as a story about an awesome 8th grader as a story about the importance of organic food.  After listening to a debate her parents were having about the importance of organic foods, a middle school student in Dallas, TX decided to design an experiment for her upcoming science fair devoted to the topic.

Go to the full story for details, but in a nutshell, flies that ate organic bananas and potatoes vs. conventional had better outcomes in fertility, stress resistance, and longevity – nearly every outcome measured.  And, organic produce was found to have higher levels of vitamin C.

The study was so well-designed and compelling that it was published in a prestigious scientific journal – pretty cool beans for a middle schooler!

The research didn’t determine exactly what variable led to the different health outcomes – the variance in nutrient levels, pesticide/fungicide residues, and/or natural chemical compounds present on the produce.

In the press the organic debate appears to go back and forth, but when paying attention to the details I find the reasons to go organic very persuasive.  All of the above theories are compelling reasons to seek out organic when possible.

  • Eat Happy Meal Plan Shopping List June 8, 2014
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    This Week’s Meal Plan ~ Healthy Meal Plans ~ Mediterranean Week!

This Week’s Meal Plan ~ Healthy Meal Plans ~ Mediterranean Week!

Eat Happy Meal Plan Shopping List June 8, 2014 Eat Happy Meal Plan Shopping List June 8, 2014

I don’t know anyone who cringes at Mediterranean food – it’s so delicious! – so why not devote a week of healthy meal plans to this wonderful cuisine?

This happened quite by accident, as I started with lovely Hummus, Tomato and Avocado Sandwiches, which led to a savory Mushroom and Hummus Soup with Spinach (need to make the most of hummus leftovers!), and then a filling Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole.  Since it’s spring and the local farm eggs are amazing, I added a quick and filling Green Eggs and Ham Frittata to the mix.

Eat Happy Meal Plans are all about eating the most health-supportive ingredients in the most enjoyable ways, saving time, energy, and money.  Each of these meals is prepared in 30 minutes or less of active time, and using the “cook once, eat twice” strategy you can get a super-fast yet completely different meal out of leftovers (this week using hummus).  Homemade hummus is so easy and economical, if you’ve never made it before…let’s just say you’ll be pretty happy with yourself.

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

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  • 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|
  • 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 [...]