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BBQ Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower, or the “magical plant of wonder” as it’s known around these parts, is a shape-shifting vegetable that can transform into “rice,” “steak,” or even pizza crust. I like to think of it as the crunchy superhero of healthy eating.

In fact, it’s a superfood loaded with vitamins C, K, a bunch of Bs, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and biotin, which promotes healthy skin and hair. In short, it’s a veggie that helps keep you healthy and pretty. Cauliflower should wear a cape.

As if cauliflower weren’t versatile enough, it takes the place of chicken in this recipe for hearty barbecued salad that’s perfect for summer grill-outs or a bring-to-work lunch.

Chock-full of greens, fiber and protein, this barbecued cauliflower salad works as a stand-alone meal or as a side to a lean protein.

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BBQ Cauliflower Salad

Serves 4
Prep Time 15 Mins
Cook Time 15 Mins
Ingredients
  • ½ medium cauliflower, cut into florets (or 3 cups florets)
  • ½ tsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce, reduced-sugar
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped kale
  • ½ cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed
  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • ¼ medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • ¼ cup ranch dressing
  • ½ medium avocado, sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Place cauliflower on a large baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle with oil. Toss to blend. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Brush cauliflower evenly with barbeque sauce. Bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Set aside to cool.
  5. Combine lettuce, beans, corn, onion, carrot, and Healthier Ranch Dressing in a medium serving bowl; toss gently to blend.
  6. Top with cool cauliflower and avocado. Serve immediately.
Tips:
  1. Look for barbecue sauce that has an ingredient list that does not contain artificial sweeteners, additives, or preservatives. There are many brands on the market that are sweetened with small amounts of honey, maple syrup, or molasses.
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Nutrition Facts from Beachbody

Tips on Raising Veggie Lovers

You are probably like most moms and go to great lengths to convince your kid to eat their vegetables. But if you start early maybe you won’t have this battle until they are 18. Once kids have tasted some of the good food there is out there like chicken fingers or macaroni and cheese they don’t want to go near the green stuff. I think the secret here is to prepare the green stuff in a simple way that the kids will enjoy. But don’t you think you want to know why it’s such a good idea to convince them? Here the top reasons why you should include and enjoy veggies in every meal.

  1. FIBER: Eating a diet heavy with fiber helps prevent constipation and irregular bowel movement. Vegetables are high in fiber. Fiber acts as a broom to sweep the toxins out of your body and keeps your digestive system running in tip top shape.
  2. VITAMINS: Your ABC vitamins make your skin glow, your eyes bright and keep your immunity working well. That means that your child will get sick less often.
  3. ANTIOXIDANTS: If you are looking for a way to stay younger longer, then vegetables and fruits are your answer. They are rich with antioxidants that will prevent premature aging caused by free radicals and also protect from cancer causing substances.
  4. WATER: Vegetables have a high water content and most are practically fat-free. Some you actually burn more calories eating then the veggie contained. So when you snack on a piece of fruit or vegetable you will be satiated longer and will crave carbs less.

Those reasons probably sold you on including more vegetables in your own diet. Kids also follow by example, if your eating your broccoli then they are more likely to eat theirs also.

Pediatricians recommend introducing veggies into baby’s diet as early as 6 months. Vegetables are rarely allergenic so they are a great first food for your little one. You could start with pureed peas, carrots and potatoes. My daughters first was sweet potatoes and she loved them and still loves them. Introducing New Food to Baby

If your child still protests the vegetables or you do yourself here are some sneaky ways to add them to your meal without anyone even knowing.

  • Boil carrots and then strain or puree finely and add to your spaghetti sauce.
  • Add pureed beats to your pizza sauce
  • Making mashed potatoes? Mash some squash or cauliflower in there.
  • When making hamburger patties add minced broccoli and strained peas.
  • Sneak green beans or spinach into salsa, dips or pickle relish.
  • When making your favorite smoothie add carrots to the blender.
  • Add spinach to any fruit smoothie, it’ll turn the drink green, but you won’t taste spinach.
  • Make bread using veggies: pumpkin bread, zucchini bread/muffins or carrot cupcakes. Top with cream cheese and some nuts.

Sneaking vegetables is great but you can’t always be there to do it, so here are some great techniques to get your kids to face their fear and crunch away.

  • Kids get so excited to help mom cook dinner. So involve them in the meal making. They will take pride in what they have created and who knows if there are some carrot sticks sitting on the counter they may munch or a few.
  • Give them choices, but don’t make the other choice to appealing, ie. vegetable lasagna or saltine crackers. Most kids will cave and sample the veggie lasagna and will not go hungry by nibbling a few crackers.
  • Do NOT use dessert as a bribe. This will create a bad habit and will not teach your kids to enjoy their veggies it teaches them to scarf them down to be rewarded. Their reward is feeling great and healthy by eating their vegetables.
  • Keep a Tupperware with washed and cut veggies at easy reach in the kitchen or in the fridge. If they come wandering in for a snack and see sliced carrots and celery next to some ranch, they may opt for that instead of digging around to find something unhealthy. Hide all the unhealthy snacks high in the pantry and only pull down when you want them to have some.
  • Let them grocery shop with you and pick out what healthy food they would like to eat that week. If they are choosing they will be more prone to eating it at home.

In recent studies it is estimated that nearly 70% of children do not like to eat their veggies. If all of us moms and dads make an effort to change this, our children can grow to be happy and healthy adults. And hey it isn’t to late for all us adults to enjoy our vegetables too.

HEALTHY VEGETABLE RECIPES

Asparagus

Broccoli with Lemon

Butternut Squash Soup

Carrot Cupcakes

Carrots Roasted

Cilantro Pesto

Green Beans Tempura

Green Smoothie

Guacamole

Kale Chips

Pumpkin Pancakes

Smoothies

Sweet Potato Frittata

 

Your kids are never too young to start enjoying their veggies!

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Grocery Shopping and filling her cart with what she wants to eat that week. Trust me this is a big winner with us.

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10 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

10 Chia Seed Benefits

Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds’ lipid profile is composed of 60 percent omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids — specifically, of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. The omega-3s in chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.

Fiber – Fiber is associated with reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons. That is one-third of the daily recommended intake of fiber per day.

Antioxidants – Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.

Minerals – Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.

Satiety – Satiety is the feeling of being full and satisfied, which helps lower food cravings between meals. The combination of protein, fiber and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to their satiating effects.

Gluten-Free – Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.

Egg Replacer – The outer layer of chia seeds swells when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes.

Can Be Digested Whole – Unlike flaxseeds, which are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and minerals, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to obtain their nutrient or egg- replacement benefits.

Dyslipidemia – A study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” showed that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol. The study also found that when substituting chia seeds for other fat sources, such as corn oil, the ALA was able to prevent high triglyceride levels and reduce central obesity.

Blood Sugar Regulation – Chia seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.

Grandma Lily’s Irish Cold Remedy Drink

Grandma Lily's Irish Cold Remedy Drink

I had a cold the other day, that lasted for two weeks :( I seriously thought it was never going to leave. I was miserable and I couldn’t take any cold medicine and then my mom told me what her mom came over and made me what her mom would always make her when she was growing up. It hit the spot, soothed my sore throat and got more fluids in me, plus it was the middle of January and a hot drink is always nice on a cold day.

I do not claim to be a doctor but this natural remedy is perfect to soothe a sore throat. and I really hope it helps you if you are feeling under the weather.

Grandma Lily’s Irish Cold Remedy Drink

Serves 1
Prep time 3 minutes
Meal type Beverage
Misc Serve Hot
This drink will soothe a sore throat, or just a nice hot beverage to drink on a cold afternoon. FrenchToasty.com has lots of drink recipes.

Ingredients

  • 12oz hot water
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1-2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon

Directions

Step 1
Stir all ingredients until blended, and sip to relieve a sore throat.
Grandma Lily's Irish Cold Remedy Drink

Lake Twentytwo ~ Lake 22 Washington Hike

Lake 22

We went hiking up to Lake 22 in the North Cascades last weekend. This trail is at the base of Mount Pilchuck just off the Mountain Loop Highway and it was absolutely gorgeous. If you are ever in the Seattle area this is a must see place. It was the middle of August and there was still snow up there. It was 5.4 miles round trip and has an elevation gain of 1500 feet and let me tell you, you will feel it, but it’ll feel great once you reach the top because you are rewarded with this beautiful view. It is a very well maintained trail with views of waterfalls

Let me know how your hike turns out!

Lake 22

Gorgeous view from the trail.

Lake 22

Eating snacks while watching Bos swim.

Lake 22

He had a great swim!

Lake 22

Dipping our feet to cool down.

Kale Nutrition Facts

Kale

It’s quite easy to swap out lettuce for kale. Kale holds up better then lettuce, doesn’t get soggy and is packed with vitamins and nutrients. By eating one of the super foods on a daily basis you are headed towards a long healthy life. There are lots of ways to prepare kale so check out some of our recipes below.

Kale

Kale Nutrition Facts
Serving size 1 cup, chopped

Calories 33

Total Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0g

Dietary Fiber 1 g, 5% daily value

Protein 2g

Vitamin A 206% daily value

Vitamin C 134% daily value

Calcium 9% daily value

Iron 6% daily value

Kale

Recipes using kale

Kale Chips

Basic Green Kale Salad

Vegetarian Green Sandwich

Green Smoothie

Use Kale on burgers and sandwiches

Avocado Health Benefits

Avocado

Avocados are great in salads, sandwiches, tacos and made into guacamole. You can also substitute avocados in place of mayo in tuna or chicken salad. Sailors to the new world used avocados in place of butter on bread. Possibilities are endless with avocados and they are a great item to add into your daily or weekly diet. They are considered the good kind of fat and provide lots of benefits.

Avocados are a good source of fiber, vitamins C, K, potassium, folate and B6. On average 1 avocado has 300 calories, 15 grams of heart healthy unsaturated fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat. One avocado contains 1/3 daily value of vitamin C and more than 50% of daily value of vitamin K.

Benefits

  • Prevent Prostate Cancer- They have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.
  • Oral Cancer- Research has shown that some of the compounds in avocados seek out per-cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them but without harming the healthy cells.
  • Protects against Breast Cancer- They are high in oleic acid, like olive oil, which in many studies have shown to prevent breast cancer.
  • Eye Health- Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts. And avocados have more carotenoid lutein then any other commonly consumed fruit.
  • Lower Cholesterol- They are shown to lower cholesterol because they are high in the compound beta-sitosterol. By eating once a week a study showed that 45 volunteers experienced an average drop of 17%.
  • Heart Health- One cup of avocado as 23% of the recommended daily value of folate.
  • Prevents Strokes- Because of the high level of folate it gives you a much lower risk of stroke then those who don’t.
  • Absorbs Nutrients Better- Certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with avocados. Some as up to 5 times more.
  • Prevents Aging- They are an excellent source of glutathione which helps prevents aging, cancer and heart disease.
  • Maintain Overall Health-  Avocado is the best fruit source for Vitamin E, which protects against many diseases and helps maintain overall health.

Tips

To keep avocados from browning, sprinkle lemon juice on the exposed middle and keep in refrigerator in air tight container. Or once you have mashed it into guacamole leave the pit in the guacamole and it helps prevents browning also.

Fun Fact

On Super Bowl Sunday, Americans eat about 8 million pounds of guacamole. And on Cinco de Mayo it’s more up around 14 million pounds. Good thing for avocados, otherwise guacamole wouldn’t be the same. :)

Avocado Slices