Meals made ezpz

When we started our son on solids we didn’t buy a lot of fancy feeding dishes/utensils.  We had 2-3 bibs, 3 baby/toddler sized bowls, two divided plates, and a handful of silverware.  We taught our son to eat using our dishes and magically he never even thought about throwing a dish or food.  We were lucky! When I heard about the ezpz less mess Happy Mat in the Fall of 2014 I thought it sounded like a great idea.  The ezpz less mess Happy Mat has been hyped up as a “game changer”.  I was first introduced to the product by The Baby Guy NYC (Jamie Grayson) when he posted his video of the Happy Mat during their Kickstarter phase of development.  Jamie’s video focused on the suction function of the mat which, in part, helps to prevent children from throwing their dishes.  This is where I stopped looking.  My toddler didn’t need to be prevented from throwing his plates.  When it popped up in my news feed on Facebook many months later, after achieving full Kickstarter funding, I took a closer look.  I wasn’t interested in it for our family, but I was intrigued for my clients.  The more I looked at the Happy Mat, the more I realized the brilliance of the design.  The Happy Mat is terrific for children who don’t want food to touch, teaching parents correct portion size for children (and adults), and for anyone who has any challenges that make feeding physically difficult.  The ezpz less mess mats do all of this and more, but I still didn’t want to spend the money on the product.  After all, one Happy Mat costs $25 and I probably spent the same amount on ALL of my toddler dining pieces combined. Still thinking about just how wonderful a tool the mat would be from a nutrition standpoint, I joined a small test group for ezpz and learned more about their product.  We had the opportunity to test out some concept designs as well as the Happy Mat.  I dutifully ordered the concept products and a Happy Mat still thinking it would just be about reviewing the product from a health coach perspective. When our mats arrived I was excited to try them, but you know who was even more excited?  Our toddler!  He was, and is still, enamored with them.  The colors are fun, vibrant, and...
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Toddler Approved Smoothies

Smoothies are a daily occurrence in our home. Our three-year-old loves them. He begs us to make him a “see-moo” (smoothie).  Given his enthusiasm for smoothies, you are probably thinking I really mean a milkshake, but I don’t. He has never had a milkshake and has only had gelato a handful of times. When he asks for a smoothie he is asking for fruits and veggies.  We often let him choose the ingredients and today’s concoction was interesting. His goal was to create a red or pink smoothie. Every smoothie we make begins with organic unsweetened original almond milk and an organic fair-trade banana. From there he added fresh organic spinach and fresh pineapple from the fridge. He then moved onto the freezer to dig out more ingredients. He chose organic parsnips, beets, carrots, cranberries, and  strawberries. We tossed his choices in and started up the Blendtec. The result? A red smoothie. Goal 1 achieved – a red or pink smoothie. Now, for the taste. That is always an interesting and slightly nerve-wracking part of the creation process. It was a little different, but it was great. He drank 16 oz. of the smoothie! This smoothie had no added sugar, was created from primarily organic ingredients and there was no “hiding” of fruits and veggies involved.  He chose all of the ingredients. What did this interesting smoothie provide? Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk Vitamin A, Vitamin D2, Vitamin E, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Calcium1 Organic, Fair Trade Banana Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Phytosterols2 Organic Spinach Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Manganese, Phytosterols, Water, Omega-3s3 Pineapple Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Riboflavin, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Phytosterols, Water4 Organic Strawberries Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin K, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Omega-3s, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosporus, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Phystosterols5 Organic Parsnips Dietary Fiber, Folate, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Thiamin, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Anti-oxidants, Iron, Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Manganese, Phosporus, Magnesium, Zinc6 Organic Carrots Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese, Water7 Organic Beets Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin B6, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Phytosterols, Water8 Organic Cranberries Dietary Fiber,...
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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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Cheddar and Tomato Omelet

Looking for a quick and easy way to use up leftover eggs, cheese, and veggies in your fridge?  Why not make an omelet.  It used to be that eggs were “forbidden” because of the cholesterol.  The newest research is showing that eggs are ok, just not in HUGE quantities.  This makes a nice quick, hot lunch too. This is a particularly nice recipe for pregnant and nursing mamas to get some quality calories, while getting great nutrients. Ingredients: Olive Oil 2 cage-free organic eggs 1oz of shredded organic cheddar cheese (or any cheese that you want to add to your omelet) Sliced organic tomatoes (I like to use grape tomatoes, but any variety or veggie will work) Instructions: Rub some olive oil in a small skillet* to coat the bottom and sides. Heat the skillet over medium heat. While waiting for skillet to warm up, lightly beat your eggs in a small bowl or cup.  Be careful not to over-beat otherwise you will end up with tough eggs. Once the skillet is warm, pour the beaten eggs into the skillet. Now, here is the key…leave them ALONE!  Don’t mix them in the skillet, let the eggs firm up almost completely. Once the eggs are just slightly liquidy on the top, put your cheese and tomatoes on one half. With a spatula, fold over the empty half to cover your cheese and tomatoes. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the cheese begins to melt and the eggs are cooked through. Slide on to a plate and enjoy! *I usually use a quality non-stick skillet like this one by All-Clad, but if you don’t have a quality non-stick skillet, just rub some olive oil on your skillet before you start.   Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post from All-Clad and all opinions are 100% my own. I only recommend products that I either have purchased myself and love or products I have been given a chance to review by the company that I believe are products my readers would benefit from. Amazon links are affiliate...
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