Cookbook Review: So Easy by Ellie Krieger

Cookbooks are some of my favorite books.  Even though you can find so many recipes online these days, there is something exciting about leafing through a cookbook, looking at the pictures, seeing the splatters on the much loved pages, and picking out a recipe for the day that is intrinsically appealing to me. I am a Food Network lover but have found that so many of the recipes are not healthy.  They are loaded with saturated fat, cholesterol, and sugar.  This isn’t true of all of the recipes, but a fair portion of them are this way.  Ellie Krieger, who became well known after her show on Food Network Healthy Appetite, is different.  She is a registered dietician with a master’s degree in nutrition from Teacher’s College, Columbia University (Ellie Krieger Bio).  So you know that the recipes she provides are going to be well balanced and include lots of colors and nutrients.  She isn’t a big fan of packaged products, but is a big fan of healthy eating made easy. With a toddler at home, a husband who works outside the home, and too many commitments of my own we need easy, fast, and delicious meals. So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week delivers.  The cookbook begins with an explanation of nutrition as well as what the general breakdown of fat, protein, carbs, etc. should be in a typical 2000 calorie diet.  Ellie emphasizes that you don’t need to count every little calorie, gram of protein, or carb however.  She emphasizes eating lots of fruits and veggies, eating lean proteins, and making sure your plate is colorful. After this informative intro she goes on to provide a list of suggested items for your pantry.  I have a fairly well-stocked pantry and find that I agree with her suggestions.  They keep my options open during the week if I suddenly decide I want to deviate from our weekly plan and make weekly shopping simple. All of this information is great, but you may be wondering about the recipes.  A lot of times when you see “healthy” and “recipe” together all that comes to mind is BLAND.  The recipes in this cookbook are well-seasoned and flavorful.  They range from really simple – cheddar-apple quesadilla with only three ingredients – to spaghetti frittata with salad presto.  It doesn’t matter your level of cooking competence, you can easily...
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Eating Well: Southwestern Salmon Cobb Salad

Today I am sharing with you a truly yummy Salmon recipe from the August 2013 edition of Eating Well Magazine.  The Southwestern Cobb Salad is filling, light, contains a variety of textures and colors, and has some kick (which you can adjust to your taste).  You will see two pictures of the dish.  The one on the white plate was published in the magazine, the meal on the brown plate is what I made.  This is one of those meals that you can actually make similar to the picture! Ingredients: 4-6oz servings of Wild Alaskan Salmon skinned (we use King Salmon) 1 tablespoon Adobo sauce from canned chipotles, plus 1 Tablespoon minced chipotle in adobo, divided 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar 2 tablespoons water 10 cups mixed salad greens 1 avocado, diced 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese Instructions: Preheat the grill to medium-high. Brush salmon with adobo sauce and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Oil the grill rack, grill the salmon, turning once, until opaque. About 3 minutes per side depending on the thickness. Combine sour cream, vinegar, water, minced chipotle and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.  Toss the greens in a large bowl with 1/2 cup of the dressing. Divide the greens and salmon among 4 plates.  Top with avocado, tomatoes, and blue cheese.  Drizzle with the remaining dressing. Notes: We like to leave the skin on the salmon until after it has been cooked. You can try swapping out the sour cream with plain greek yogurt. We find the adobo sauce to be a little spicy so we don’t brush it on the salmon.  We use extra virgin olive oil instead.  Additionally, we leave off the salt. If you aren’t sure if everyone will like the same amount of dressing, which has some kick, just serve the dressing on the side so that everyone can add their chosen amount. Feta cheese works nicely in this meal if you don’t like blue...
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Nordic Naturals Giveaway

For the past couple of weeks I have been writing on Facebook and Twitter about the importance of Omega-3s in our diet. Let me start by giving a little background on Omega-3s.  Omega-3s are what is known as an essential fatty acid.  Essential Fatty Acids are necessary for our body to function normally, but must be consumed from outside sources.  In other words, our body doesn’t make them and without an outside source (e.g., fish, algae, flax), the membranes of our cells become faulty, plasma cholesterol isn’t reduced as effectively, and we become more likely to suffer from atherosclerosis, coronary thrombosis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, hypertension and certain forms of malignant disease (Essential Fatty Acids in Perspective).  Omega-3s can also help with depressions, fatigue, concentration, and brittle hair. The moral of the story here is that Omega-3s are a must have in your diet.  Now here comes the tricky part, Omega-3s are best absorbed from animal products such as salmon, cod, and grass-fed beef.  These animal forms of Omega-3s can be divided into DHA and EPA.  Both DHA and EPA are readily recognized by the body and absorbed.  There are other, non-animal, sources of Omega-3s as well.  These plant-based Omega-3s are great for vegetarians or vegans, however, their make-up is slightly different.  They have a form of Omega-3 called ALA.  In order for the body to use ALA it must be converted into DHA and EPA.  This is hard for the body to do and consequently, only about 5% of the ALA you consume through foods like flax seeds are converted to usable DHA/EPA.  (Top 10 Foods High in Omega-3) Think about how much fish you eat in one week.  Just a small 3-oz serving of Wild Alaskan King Salmon has over 1500mg of Omega-3s (Omega-3 Levels).  The recommended daily dose of Omega-3s is about 1g (1000mg) for proactive support (Dosing Recommendations).  When you eat salmon, or any other fish, you are probably consuming a 6-oz serving.  That means in one 6-oz serving of Wild Alaskan King Salmon you are getting enough Omega-3s to last you 2-3 days.  If you consume 3 6-oz servings of Wild Alaskan King Salmon per week you will be getting approximately 9g (9000mg) of Omega-3s.  This is an ideal amount for the week.  Now, have you looked at the price of Wild Alaskan King Salmon recently?  In season it runs around $28/pound.  My guess is...
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Whole Foods Rosemary-Lime Wild Alaskan Salmon Kabobs

Taken from the Whole Foods Website Recipe Section, these kabobs look delicious. A definite must try this summer! Ingredients: 1 pound wild salmon fillets, cut into chunks 1 zucchini, cut into chunks 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks 1 large red onion, cut into chunks Sea salt and black pepper 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tablespoon (about 2 small sprigs) chopped rosemary leaves 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons lime juice Wooden or bamboo skewers, soaked in water 10 minutes Method: Place salmon, zucchini, bell pepper and onion in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk together garlic, rosemary, olive oil and lime juice in a small bowl. Pour mixture over salmon and vegetables, toss and marinate 15 to 30 minutes. Preheat the grill or broiler. Skewer the salmon and vegetables, reserving marinade, and grill or broil 5 to 7 minutes, turning once, until salmon is cooked through and vegetables are tender. While cooking, boil the marinade in a small saucepan for 5 minutes. Drizzle over skewers and serve. Nutritional Info Per Serving: 380 calories (230 from fat), 27g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 70mg cholesterol, 360mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 27g protein Special Diets: Dairy Free Gluten Free Sugar Conscious Wheat...
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Typical Meals in the Hanna Household

As a health coach I pay a lot of attention to what we eat in our house.  The old adage, “Practice what you preach” is alive and well in our family.  We try our best to live a healthy lifestyle, but don’t always succeed and we certainly have times of indulgences.  So what do we plan for dinners in our house?  Take a look below for most of the dinners we have eaten in the last month: Warm Quinoa Salad with roasted shallots and butternut squash (vegan) Ziti with red pepper and walnut sauce (vegan) Brazilian black bean stew (vegan) Roasted Tomato Garlic Soup (vegan) Black bean quesadillas and avocado (vegetarian) Homemade veggie pizza with whole wheat crust (vegetarian) Mushroom and Asparagus Barley Risotto (vegan) Mushroom-Spinach Stuffed Shells with Salad (vegetarian) Veggie Calzones (vegetarian) Pesto Roasted Salmon with Israeli CousCous Seared Scallops and barley pilaf with dried cranberries and pecans Salmon Florentine Orange Salmon with Apricot Horseradish Salsa Proscuitto Wrapped Cod with Wild Rice and Edamame Tortellini-Spinach Soup Wheat berry salad with grilled chicken Rotisserie chicken with peas and wild rice Panzanella with Chicken Sausage Chicken, Apple, and Caramelized Onion Sandwiches with Parsnip Fries BBQ Chicken with sweet potatoes and grilled corn Turkey Pot Pie Turkey Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans Turkey-And-Rice Stuffed Peppers Fillet Mignon and salad with goat cheese and caramelized onions Homemade bolognese sauce with whole wheat spaghetti and salad French Onion Soup Lentil Soup with Peas and...
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