Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Orzo Salad

We went over to a friend's house the other night for dinner and they made this wonderful, fresh salad. It is perfect as a side dish or add grilled chicken and it could stand on its own.

Orzo Salad

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish
*can be free of wheat if you substitute wheat free pasta instead of orzo

Orzo (or wheat free pasta could be substituted)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
8 campari tomatoes, sliced (or whatever fresh tomatoes you have- if they don’t look good, just increase canned)
1 can water packed artichoke hearts, drained or can use frozen
2 Tbsp capers, drained
½ cup kalamata olives, halved
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme (grow some in your garden, it can be used for tons of things)
¼ c chopped fresh parsley
¼ c dry white wine (could skip this)
Splash of red wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook orzo (or wheat free pasta) according to pkg directions in salted water. Drain but reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid.

In large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté onion for 5 minutes till soft and caramelizing. Add garlic for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, artichokes, capers, olives and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes start to soften- about 8-10 minutes adding wine last 5 minutes and reduce. Add pasta, stirring in- add a generous drizzle of olive oil until it is a nice texture. Toss and add pasta water if it is too dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or room temp. Stir in parsley before serving to keep nice green color

*If you are going to serve a lot of people, go ahead and make the full pound of orzo, but for a small family, you could just use a cup of orzo and cut everything in half…

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait's are a healthy breakfast or snack and are easy and fun to put together!

Safe Yogurt (Wholesoy & Company and So Delicious has dairy free and coconut milk yogurt)

Fruit (berries, bananas, etc.)

Granola (Enjoy life granola is allergen free, you can make homemade or Back To Nature has a safe one)

Layer and enjoy!

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Off to The Valley Of the Sun...

I am leaving my two boys for the first time EVER and heading to Phoenix for a Juice Plus Conference tomorrow. I am so excited! The boys are going to have a blast hanging with my husband and I get to have some me/professional development time! You will not be hearing from me for a few days, but I will be back to blogging when I get back into town. Off to pack....I have procrastinated :)

I can't wait to eat some good southwestern food!!!!!!! Know any good places in Phoenix? Please share :)
Off to The Valley Of the Sun...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Whole Fruit Sorbet on Sale

If you go to Publix to grab the Kashi Oatmeal deal, pick up some Whole Fruit Sorbet ; it is BOGO this week ($1.45 each). We love this stuff (our favorite is the lemon). It is really rich so you wouldn't sit down and have a bowl of it...a little goes a long way.

Ingredients in the lemon sorbet:
Micron Filtered Water, Corn Syrup Solids, Sugar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Pectin, and Natural Flavor.

On sale at Publix BOGO (1.45 each) until Tuesday, 4/27

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Kashi Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

I like to make homemade oatmeal for the boys because I can add fresh apples, local honey, flaxseed meal (great way to add fiber and omega 3's), etc. When  we are traveling and need a quick breakfast, we sometimes ues Kashi Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal (with more for you heart, nothing artificial).

*It is on sale this week at Publix for $2.50 until 4/27. Also, there is a coupon in the yellow advantage buy flyer (you can get this at the front of the store) for a free reusable bag when you buy two Kashi products.

whole grain rolled oats, evaporated cane juice, dried apples (apples, apple juice concentrate), chicory root fiber, cinnamon, guar gum, potassium chloride, salt, natural flavors, decaffeinated green tea extract, calcium carbonate, decaffeinated white tea extract, alpha tocopherol acetate (natural vitamin E), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), activin grape seed extract, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), zinc oxide, ferrous fumarate (iron), beta carotene (source of vitamin A), folic acid, vitamin B12.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Back to Nature Apple Blueberry Granola

Back to Nature Apple Blueberry Granola is wholesome granola clusters with sweet pieces of apples and wild little blueberries. Lightly sweetened with fruit and cane juices.

This is great in homemade trail mix, on yogurt, as a topping for ice cream, etc.

  • Excellent Souce of Whole Grain

  • No artificial preservatives, flavors or colors

  • dietary fiber 4 g

  • no trans fat

Ingredients: Whole grain rolled oats, evaporated cane juice, pineapple juice concentrate, pear juice concentrate, dried apples, dried wild blueberries, peach juice concentrate, vitamin e (a natural vitamin to help preserve flavor), natural flavor, salt.

*On the Back to Nature website, it states that one of the ingredients in the Apple Blueberry Granola is whole grain wheat...the bag that I purchased does not have wheat in it. Maybe they have not updated the website?

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Home Depot: Buy One Get One Free Veggie & Herbs TODAY ONLY

If you are thinking about doing a garden or haven't bought plants yet, Home Depot has a great deal TODAY ONLY, 4/18 (I did this last year and filled my garden with veggie plants and herbs for inexpensive).

Bonnie 3"-5" Peat Pot Veggie & Herbs

  • Vegetables: choose from tomatoes, peppers and more

  • Herbs-choose basil, thyme, oregano and more

  • Biodegradable pots plant right into the ground

Limit 10 per customer; (while supplies last). Bring someone with you (husband, etc.) and you can really make sure you will have enough plants for your garden.

If you want to start your plants from seed, for 7 days only-April 18th-24th they will have buy one get one free deal on all vegetable, herb and flower seed packets (while supplies last). Looks like organic is included.

I love having a small garden. The vegetables are fresh, vine-ripened and we know how they are grown. This saves us lots of money and forces us to think of ways to use these fresh vegetables and share with friends/neighbors.

This year in our garden, we are going to do:

  • Roma tomatoes (salads, homemade pizza)

  • grape tomatoes (salads)

  • squash

  • zucchini

  • cucumbers (I'm thinking homemade pickles)

  • jalapenos (salsa, sandwiches, fresh Mexican food)

  • eggplant


I love herbs! I have a little area in my garden that is dedicated to my herbs.

*If you choose herbs that come back every year...all you have to do is make a one time investment and it keeps giving back. If you buy herbs at the grocery store for a recipe, you would pay at least $1.50 for a one time use...think of it that way. If you have all of these fresh herbs at your disposal, you will think of ways to use them and flavor your food. Plus, it is always nice to share with friends.

  • sage (comes back)-tastes great with chicken, sauces or homemade sausage

  • oregano (comes back)-pasta sauce, homemade pizza, chicken

  • thyme (comes back)-chicken, pasta salads, homemade dressings, etc.

  • rosemary (comes back)-pasta sauce, stuffed in whole chickens, etc.

  • mint (comes back): *make sure to plant in some type of pot or it will overtake your spreads like crazy)-we make minted salsa, add this to our iced tea in the summer

  • chives-I keep these in a pot on my porch, bring them in the garage during the winter and put them back out in the spring and they keep coming back. Perfect for baked potatoes, etc.

  • lavender (comes back: make sure to buy the kind that is a perennial)-I love the smell and they add color to my herb garden
Do not come back, but worth the investment

  • Basil-great accompaniment to all of the tomatoes you will have. Tastes great in sauces, salads, on homemade pizza, etc.

  • Dill-macaroni salads, chicken, fish, homemade dill pickles

  • Cilantro-I love it, but it likes the cooler weather and goes not grow when your tomatoes are ready, that is so disappointing because it would be perfect to have for fresh salsa

Go to Home Depot and click on local ad or call to see if they are having this deal in your area

Happy Planting!

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Saturday, April 17, 2010


Craisins are allergen free. They are a yummy snack, taste great in oatmeal, muffins, breads, cookies, bars, homemade trail get the idea :)

Usually a good deal is when they go on sale at Publix ( usually comes out to about $1.10 each...I stock boys LOVE them).

  • Made with Real Fruit

  • Naturally Fat Free & Fiber Full

  • No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Preservatives

  • Peanut Free, Gluten Free

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Possibly Great deal on So Delicious at Whole Foods?

*UPDATE: Yes...I went today and the Coconut Milk Yogurt is on sale for $1.50 each, use the $1 off coupon and you can get it for .50...what a deal!

If you are heading to Whole Foods today for tax free, go to turtlemountain (dairy free indulgence). Click on rewards at the top of the website. Then click on coupons. You will fill out a request for coupons and then a coupon will pop up to print. It is for $1 off on any Purely Decadent or So Delicious dairy free frozen dessert or refrigerated item. *Remember to hit back and you can print 2!

We LOVE LOVE LOVE their dairy free ice cream, but I think today I will be able to score some dairy free yogurt (normally the price kills me) for Brody for CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP!!!! Should probably be less than .50. Plus...TAX FREE!

*Don't forget to bring your reusable bags....Whole Foods gives you .10 off your bill for each one you bring. Every little bit helps and you are helping the environment.

Possibly Great deal on So Delicious at Whole Foods?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Whole Foods Tax-Free Shopping Day TODAY!

If you need some items at Whole Foods, today would be a great day to go...Whole Foods will pay your sales tax! As we all know, (in TN) this adds up, so this is a fun way to save! Stores will also offer deep discounts on select items on Tax-free shopping day, in addition to Weekly Flyer Specials, giving customers even more ways to save. Happy Shopping!

Contact the Whole Foods near you to see if they are participating

Article from the Tennessean
Whole Foods Tax-Free Shopping Day TODAY!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Food, Inc. Hungry For Change?

I encourage you to get your hands on the documentary Food, Inc. (a Robert Kenner Film). It is powerful information. After watching it, I felt so empowered to make more changes in our family's diet. I believe that food is medicine and that what we eat can build us up or tear our bodies down. I realize that we can't be perfect all of the time, but we can make steps in the right direction.

I am so excited to support local farmers. I want my boys to be excited about fruits and veggies and know where they come from (not too far from our house). We will be choosing to buy from farmers that use responsible growing methods. How awesome to know that the fruit/vegetables will be more nutritionally dense because they were allowed to vine ripen and were not picked weeks before they were ready so they could be shipped?

Here are 10 simple steps things you can do to change our food systems:

1. Stop drinking sodas or other sweetened beverages (drink water is better for you and it will save you money. A good goal is to try to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces a day)

2. Eat at home instead of eating out (this will save you money allowing you to buy better quality food. Also, you will know exactly what is in your food)

3. Support the passage of laws requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards (if we saw this, we would probably make a healthier choice)

4. Tell schools to stop selling sodas, junk food, and sports drinks (before I stayed home with the boys, I taught at a high school and it is crazy how many sodas the students drink throughout the day)

5. Meatless Mondays-Go without meat one day a week (this will also help cut your grocery budget)

6. Buy organic or sustainable food with little or no pesticides (TN farmers/produce)

7. Protect family farms; visit your local farmer's market (Franklin Farmers Market, Nashville Farmers Market)

8. Make a point to know where your food comes from-READ LABELS (if you are local, I would love for you to come to one of my Wellness Workshops and I will share some simple steps on reading labels, identifying harmful ingredients in food and how to eat healthier. If you are not local, I can send you a link to a webinar that will share this information. Email me and I will get it to you)

9. Tell Congress that food safety is important to you

10. Demand job protections for farm workers and food processors, ensuring fair wages and other protections

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

BPA Free Water Bottle for Kids

I have been looking for a water bottle for my 3 1/2 year old that wasn't a straw kid's cup, but that wasn't too big for him (some of the ones I was looking at were too large, a bit complicated or I was afraid he would chew through the straw if he had to bite it to get the water out).

I was in Target last week, and I decided to checked out their water bottle section (by the outdoor equipment, etc.) and I found one that was BPA free for $3.99, it is called EMBARK.

It wasn't until I got home, that I decided that I liked it even more! My older son was so excited about the water bottle because it looks similar to my husband's Nalgene. When we opened it up, we realized that the water bottle is 2 step. It has a straw that goes down in the the water bottle for younger kids so all they do is suck to get the water out OR for older kids, you can take the straw out from the inside and they can turn the water bottle up to get the water out. The pop up "straw" cannot be chewed through (YAY!) and goes down when not in use.

Well, we had to go back to Target because Brody had a meltdown that his brother had one and he didn't (oops...I didn't think that it would work for Brody, but it does because it is 2 step). Both boys have one now and we put their Bumpyname Orbit Labels on it (different colors) so they know which ones is theirs. My older son uses his without the straw inside and Brody uses the straw. PERFECT! They can even go in the top rack of the dishwasher.

I fill the water bottles up every morning with water, add ice and set them out so they can drink whenever they want. I am very excited! It was well worth it... $8 for both boys; if they don't last for a long time, we are not out that much money. Plus, it is a fun way to encourage them to drink water.

Get yourself a water bottle too and fill it up throughout the day. I like to add fresh lemons to mine. Model good health for your children. It starts with us :)

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Summer Spinach Salad with Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

The weather has been beautiful! Last night we had a barbecue out on our deck and we enjoyed this salad yummy salad with BBQ chicken, baked beans, corn on the cob and fruit tea.

Summer Spinach Salad

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

1 bag of spinach leaves
1 container of fresh strawberries, sliced
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 small can of mandarin oranges in their own juice, drained (I didn't have this on hand last night so you won't see it in the picture, but this is a great addition if you have it)

In a salad bowl, combine ingredients, serve dressing (below) on the side)

Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup onion
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds

Place ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend. Serve with salad.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Funky Monkey: Fruit That Crunches

My mom found Funky Monkey treats for the boys for Easter (she found them in the dried fruit aisle at Target). The boys liked them and they were a fun treat. They both liked freeze dried fruit and we always end up with just "O's" when we buy Trader Joe's Triple Berry O's because the first thing they want is the freeze-dried strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. How can you go wrong with freeze-dried bananas with a touch of cinnamon? :) The bag isn't very big, my 3 1/2 year old polished off the bag in one afternoon, but he really enjoyed them.

Funky Monkey Snacks are freeze-dried, a unique and modern process that maintains nearly all of the flavor and nutrients found in fresh fruit, unlike other types of fruit-based snacks. There is no added sugar, preservatives, coloring or flavoring.

Funky Monkey (freeze-dried fruit)

  • 100% Real Fruit

  • 100% Fat Free

  • 100% Organic

  • All Natural

  • No Sugar Added

  • Vegan

  • Gluten Free

  • Kosher/Parve

3 servings of fruit in one 1 oz bag

Funky Monkey Snacks

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Groupon Deal:9 Fruits

Hey Locals...Michele told me about a great deal offered from Groupon today 4/7 for 9 Fruits.

Check out this link to see how you can get Two Medium Smoothies from 9 Fruits for only $5 (you will see it on the right hand side of the screen)

If you purchase the deal (limit 2 per person), it expires on 7/08/10 but that gives you plenty of time to grab two smoothies next time you are in the Cool Springs area.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cilantro Lime Coleslaw

Here is an easy side that has lots of color and is full of flavor.

Cilantro Lime Coleslaw

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish


2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp lime juice (usually 1-2 limes)

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp crushed red pepper

a dash of coarse salt and pepper

1/2 bag of coleslaw

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

In a bowl combine first six ingredients and whisk together until blended. Add the coleslaw and cilantro and mix well.

*This can be made ahead and chilled in the refrigerator

*Most of the time, I double this recipe so we have leftovers (or if we are going to have guests for dinner)

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Fruit Tea

Easter has really snuck up on me. Today I will be doing resurrection eggs with the boys, grabbing last minute items at the store to cook for this weekend and putting Easter Baskets together.

We have a beautiful weather forecast here in TN on Sunday and I am looking forward to a light Easter dinner followed by an egg hunt outside and flying kites.

I wanted to share this Fruit Tea recipe (from my friend Lyndi), I love having a "special" drink to serve in pretty glasses for Easter dinner.

Fruit Tea

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

3/4 cup sugar (OR 3/4 cup of unprocessed, local honey as a natural sweetener...we love this!)
1 cup water
3 cups strong tea (I always use decaffeinated)
1 cup lemon juice (I will be using fresh lemon juice)
2 cups orange juice
2 cups of pineapple juice
OR 4 cups of pineapple/orange juice mixture

*Optional: steep some fresh mint when you make your simple syrup (I love having mint in our garden, it makes the fruit tea taste extra special). Throw mint away when your simple syrup is done.

In a small pot, mix sugar and 1 cup water together and heat until it makes a simple syrup (sugar has dissolved). Meanwhile, put 3 cups of water in a pot, bring to a boil and then add 3 large teabags (double this if using small teabags) and let it sit for about 6-8 minutes (until it is dark and strong). In a gallon container add sugar mixture, strong tea, lemon juice, orange/pineapple juice and then add water to make a gallon. Stir. Put in refrigerator to chill before serving.

Optional garnish: fresh mint, lemon or orange

*Another idea I like: pour some of the fruit tea into an ice cube tray and freeze. Add to the "tea" so it doesn't get watered down.

credit: image is from

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