Warm Quinoa, Spinach, Tomato And Feta Salad…

In this blog, I wanted to share my recipe for some warm quinoa, spinach, tomato and feta salad. It is easy to make and a favorite of mine. This recipe includes some healthy vegetables and spices, which promote vitality and contain some anti-inflammatory properties. It also includes avocados, which have feel good-fats your body needs to move and function properly. In addition, it includes the ancient grain, quinoa, which is considered a super-food. Quinoa not only has a number of healthful vitamins, but includes a healthy dose of fiber and is rich in protein, which helps sustain energy. If you are looking to plan a meal, you might want to give this recipe a try. It is easy to prepare, wholesome and delicious.

Warm Quinoa, Spinach, Tomato & Feta Salad

Warm quinoa spinach tomato and feta salad

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 or 2  large handfuls fresh spinach
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 handful feta cheese crumbles (1/8 cup feta cheese, approximately)
  • 1/2 avocado cut in to pieces
  • cajun seasoning
  • tumeric
  • soy sauce or coconut aminos

Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with olive oil.

olive oil

Add the spinach, onion, and garlic. Stir on medium heat, until the onion begins to brown and the spinach is slightly wilted. Sprinkle the top with the turmeric and Cajun seasoning. Stir in the quinoa with the warm with the vegetables. Add the tomatoes and stir, until they are just warm. Spoon the salad on a plate. Add the feta cheese and avocado pieces on the top of the salad. Sprinkle with a little coconut aminos or soy sauce, if desired and serve warm.

Note: You may also add black beans, chick peas, or another vegetable to the mix to make it your own.

Enjoy!

Barb

P.S. You can find this recipe, as well as other healthy recipes in my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, which is available on Amazon.

Recipe: Easy Sausage Spinach Vegetable Lasagna

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe for some easy sausage spinach vegetable lasagna that I made over the weekend. This recipe is a favorite of my family and I make it quite a bit, especially in the fall and winter months, when your body craves more comfort foods. It combines a healthy dose of vegetables including spinach, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, onions and olives that not only are good for you, but provide a host of vitamins and nutrients your body needs. I also put in some options if you have a gluten sensitivity, or prefer a vegetarian version. Give it a try if you are looking for a new recipe to try for dinner.

Easy Sausage Spinach Vegetable Lasagna

spinach lasagna

  • 1 small box lasagna noodles (1/2 lb or approximately 9 noodles).
    You can use a gluten-free variety if you have issues with gluten.
  • 1 24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
    I used a local brand called Anna Lisa Spicy Pasta Sauce I got at Whole Foods that had no sugar or preservatives added. I really like this brand, but you can use any variety you like.
  • 1 container cottage cheese
    You can also use ricotta cheese
  • 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
    I usually shred my own to avoid the added cellulose in cheese and other pre-packaged foods used to prevent caking. It is derived from wood pulp. Yes-wood pulp.
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
    You can also leave this out if you prefer to make a meatless version of lasagna
  • 1/2 bag of fresh spinach
    You can also you kale
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1 small green pepper chopped
  • 1 small package fresh mushrooms
  • 1 small can black olives
  • 1/2 jar green olives
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 medium size tomatoes diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cajun seasoning

Fill a large pot with boiling water and add the lasagna noodles. Turn down heat a bit and boil the noodles for 10 minutes and then strain off the water and set aside.

In a large skillet, brown the Italian sausage. Add the garlic, onion, green pepper and mushrooms. Stir the mixture until the vegetables are slightly browned. Add in the olives and the salt, pepper and cajun seasoning to taste and stir. Add the spaghetti sauce to the meat and vegetable mix and stir to combine all of the ingredients. Add the tomatoes to the top and stir, just so they become warn and then remove from the heat.

Grease a 13″ x 9″ cake pan with olive oil. Place 3 noodles on the bottom of the pan. Then spoon about 1/3 of the meat and vegetable sauce over the noodles. Grab a handful or so of the spinach and place it on top of the sauce. Next scoop about 1/3 of the cottage cheese on top of the spinach and then add a layer of the mozzarella or cheddar cheese.

lasagna layers

Repeat these steps 2 more times to create 3 layers total.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the prepared pan of lasagna in the oven and bake for 30-40, or until slightly crisp on the top. Remove from the oven and let set and cool for another 30-45 minutes. Serve warm with a fresh garden salad.

Enjoy!

Barb

P.S. If you are looking for more good recipes to try and ways to live a healthy life-style, you might want to check out my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living. You can grab a FREE chapter here to preview.

Healthy Breakfast—Spinach, Tomato & Sausage Frittata

Did you know that breakfast is thought to be the most important meal of the day, according to some nutrition experts? That’s why it is important to eat a healthy breakfast. After a long night’s sleep, your body needs nutrients to give you energy to get you going, whether you are heading out the door to work, to the gym, on a walk, or something else. In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little bit about how you can take charge of how you eat and make conscious choices about what you eat and when you eat. Eating a good, healthy breakfast is a simple way to get started.

In this blog, I wanted to share a healthy breakfast recipe I made over the weekend. I had some friends up at the lake and we decided to try something new. This particular recipe was great and easy to prepare. It included some wholesome, healthy ingredients too, including spinach, tomatoes and fresh chives, which I got out of my garden. It is always good to get a dose of morning greens and a few veggies to kick-start your day! If you are looking for something tasty and easy to prepare for breakfast, you might want to give this recipe a try.

Healthy Breakfast—Spinach, Tomato & Sausage Frittata

Spinach Tomato & Sausage Frittata
Spinach Tomato & Sausage Frittata

10 large eggs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 package Italian sausage or turkey sausage
4 cups spinach (You can also use kale, or arugula)
Handful cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
2 Tbsp. fresh chives, or 1 small red onion

Directions:
In a large bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs, cheese, milk salt and pepper. Set the mixture aside.

In a frying pan, brown the the Italian sausage over medium heat. Stir to break up the meat and cook until slightly crisp. Add the spinach and chives and stir until the spinach is slightly wilted. Remove from heat. Drain off any excess fat from the meat mixture. Set the pan aside.

Spray the bottom of a 9″ pie plate with cooking spray. I used an olive oil spray. Pour the meat mixture in the pie plate. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the meat. Top with the cut cherry tomatoes. Place the pie plate in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes or so and then run a paring knife around the inside edges to release the frittata. Cut into wedges and serve warm. You can serve it alone, or with some avocado slices or fresh fruit.

Spinach Tomato & Sausage Frittata
Spinach Tomato & Sausage Frittata

Enjoy!

Barb

10 Iron-Rich Foods To Sustain Your Energy…

Did you know that iron deficiency anemia affects more people than any other condition?¹

That’s right! For some of you that may be surprising or alarming, given the fact that many people aren’t aware of the symptoms or the condition. I was one of these people, that is until a few years ago, when I was diagnosed with it myself and had to deal with the ailment. In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, which is available on Amazon, I talk a little bit about the causes of iron deficiency and how it lead me on a path to learning more about nutrition. I also talk about how eating a healthy diet and living a healthy life-style can help with a host of health problems, including vitamin deficiencies. In this blog, I wanted to share some information on 10 iron-rich foods that can help sustain your energy, whether you are iron deficient, or not.

Let’s take a look…

  1. Spinach—

    Spinach is rich in many minerals and nutrients that are beneficial to your body. It contains non-heme iron, which is the type of iron found in plant-based foods. When I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, I started eating a lot of this leafy green, as I needed to consume a certain amount of iron-rich foods. I also added spinach to my morning smoothies, as well as other main dishes I would cook. Many people enjoy spinach salad, but this powerhouse vegetable can be added to many entrees. Try adding it to your spaghetti sauce, chow mein, lasagna, stir-fries and more for added energy and nutrients.
  2. Kale—

    Kale is another green that is rich in iron. In fact, kale contains more iron than spinach. (Kale contains 6 % iron, where spinach contains 5%.) Kale is also rich in fiber and other vitamins including vitamin A, B6, C, folate, calcium, copper and more. Kale has a unique taste and a texture that is course and dense. Some people like kale salads, while others may mix it with other greens. Kale can also be added to smoothies and can be eaten raw or cooked. It can also be added to other main dishes for an added boost of vitamins and minerals. I enjoy kale, as well as spinach. Give it a try if want to add more nutrients to your diet.
  3. Black Beans—

    Black Beans are not only good for you, but taste great. It is no wonder they are a popular food in many cultures. They are rich both in iron and fiber and also contain plenty of protein. They also contain other valuable vitamins and minerals including calcium and manganese and have trace amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for you. Black beans have a dense texture and can be eaten alone, or added to other entrees or dishes such as rice or quinoa. I like to add black beans to taco meat and rice. I also like to eat black beans as a side dish. They are delicious heated with a little spinach, onions, tomatoes, and spices including tumeric and cajun. Give it a try if you like, or come up with your own favorite recipe.
  4. Beef—

    Beef is rich in heme iron, which is found in animals and attached to proteins. If you happen to be iron deficient, heme iron is the best source of iron for your body. That is why I eat beef several times a week. Growing up, I ate a lot of beef, but as I got older, I kind of got tired of it. Over time however, my body began to let me know I needed to add more of it back into my diet. If you enjoy beef, know that you are getting a healthy dose of iron, as well as other vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind that a serving of beef, or other meat should only be the size of your fist.
  5. Chicken—

    Chicken also contains heme iron and other vitamins. It is a popular choice for many consumers and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Many people enjoy it as a main entree, or use it in other dishes such as pasta, enchilada’s, stir fries, etc. Chicken is also a healthy addition to salads and various side dishes. Again—Keep in mind that a serving of chicken should also be the size of your fist.
  6. Eggs—

    Eggs have been a  staple in the diets of many consumers for years. It’s not surprising, as eggs contain protein, carbohydrates and fat. They are also a good source of choline and iron, which is found in the yolks. Eggs contain a healthy mix of both heme and non-heme iron, making them unique. Eggs can be prepared in a variety of ways and are a popular breakfast item. I like to add a variety of vegetables and meat to my eggs to enhance their flavor, as well as their nutritional value. Feel free to add whatever vegetables you enjoy with your eggs to help boost their nutritional value.
  7. Nuts—

    Nuts are a great snack food and are not only delicious, but nutritious. It is no wonder they are a  a popular snack choice for many consumers. Nuts are loaded with many healthful nutrients too including protein, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium and copper. They also contain healthy fats (MUFAS), which your body needs and craves. Many nuts are also rich in iron, which helps deliver oxygen to your cells. It is especially important for those with iron deficiency anemia and works to prevent it as well. I enjoy almonds, cashews and other varieties of nuts daily. Make sure you grab a handful of nuts to snack on to enjoy their health benefits.
  8. Strawberries—

    Strawberries are a popular fruit and enjoyed by many consumers. They are sweet, delicious and loaded with a variety of vitamins and minerals. They actually are considered a super food since they are nutrient dense and promote well-being. Strawberries contain vitamin C, which helps promote eye health and immunity. They are also rich in fiber, which helps aid digestion and contains some iron, which helps to carry oxygen throughout your body. Snack of this tasty fruit and enjoy its many healthy benefits.
  9. Apricots—

    While there are many varieties of fruits, the apricot is considered one of the healthiest in the world.² It is loaded with healthful nutrients and has many benefits. Apricots contain vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and contain plenty of fiber. They also contain a healthy dose of iron, which is a vital element for muscle and brain health and also works to regulate body temperature. Although I like apricots, it wasn’t a fruit a bought a lot of. When I developed iron deficiency anemia however, I began buying dried apricots to snack on. They are sweet and make a healthy snack.
  10. Pumpkin Seeds—

    If you are looking for a crunchy, tasty snack, why not try some healthful seeds such as pumpkin seeds? They are good for you and packed with a bunch of feel-good nutrients. Pumpkin seeds contain a variety of nutrients including magnesium, manganese, zinc, protein, and copper. They are also high in fiber and are a good source of iron and omega 3 fats.  You can eat them alone, or add them to yogurt, smoothies and more.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Wpadmin. “22 Shocking Iron Deficiency Anemia Statistics.” HRFnd. N.p., 23 Dec. 2014. Web. 15 May 2017.

²Nandy, Priyadarshini. “8 Amazing Apricot Benefits: The Nutritional Heavyweight Among Fruits.” Food.ndtv.com. N.p., 19 Apr. 2016. Web. 16 May 2017.

³”9 Amazing Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds.” Mercola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2017.

6 Metabolism Boosting Foods…

When it comes to weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, metabolism plays an important role. Anytime you eat anything, your body goes to work to process the food and nutrients that you’ve ingested. Our metabolism converts the food we eat into fuel for energy, which is needed for everything we do, from walking to running to thinking to working. That is why it is so important to eat the right foods. In this blog, I thought I would share some foods that will help you boost your metabolism.

Let’s take a look at…

  1. Spinach—Spinach and other dark leafy greens are loaded with nutrients, that help fuel your body. Spinach is high calcium, which helps your body maintain a high metabolism. In fact, eating calcium-rich foods such as spinach has been shown to double your fat-burning potential when consuming up to 1300 mg. of the mineral a day. It is no wonder Pop Eye looked slim and trim and muscular. Spinach is not only nutrient dense, but tastes great and can be prepared in a variety of ways.
  2. Grapefruit—Grapefruit and other citrus fruits contain large amounts of vitamin C, which helps regulate your blood sugar. When your blood sugar is stable, you are more likely to feel good, have more energy and feel alive. When your blood sugar fluctuates too much with spikes of high and low, you may feel tired, worn out or sluggish. To avoid insulin spikes, make sure you include grapefruit and other citrus fruits in your diet for a healthy dose of vitamin C.
  3. Broccoli—Broccoli is another vegetable loaded with vitamins and minerals. Broccoli is high in the vitamins C, A and K. In fact, broccoli contains twice as much vitamin C as an orange and is also high in calcium. It also contains selenium, folate and a healthy dose of fiber, all of which help your body to maintain a healthy metabolism.
  4. Almonds—Almonds contain both fatty acids and plenty of fiber, both of which will help your metabolism. Almonds and other nuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids, MUFAS, which are good fats that your body needs to move and uses for fuel to function properly. The natural good fats in almonds help spark your metabolism. Grab a handful or 2 of almonds for a snack to aide your and fat-burning.
  5. Apples—Apples are loaded with fiber and help your body feel full. They also help prevent your body from absorbing fat. Apples contain other vitamins including B and K. They also contain magnesium and potassium. Reach for an apple as part of healthful breakfast, or snack.
  6. Green Tea—Green tea is one of the best things you can consume to speed up your metabolism. Green tea is rich in phytochemicals, especially flavonoids and EGCG, which help protect your body from disease. They also contain other antioxidants that help with metabolism.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

“Top 10 Foods That Boost Metabolism.” Health Ambition. N.p., 29 Mar. 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

“Metabolism.” KidsHealth. Ed. Steven Dowshen. The Nemours Foundation, June 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Busch, Sandi. “Does an Apple in the Morning Speed Up Your Metabolism?”LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group, 23 Aug. 2011. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

Danielle Braff, Linda Melone, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), and REDBOOK Editors. “15 Surprising Tricks for Boosting Your Metabolism.” Woman’s Day. N.p., 13 Oct. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

 

 

Recipe: Spinach, Egg And Ham Breakfast Cups

In this blog, I wanted to share a quick, healthy breakfast dish. These egg cups are super easy to make and should give you a burst of energy to start your day. They also work great to serve for a brunch or when you have a family gathering, as you can make 12 at a time. Give them a try in you want a healthy breakfast.

Spinach, Egg and Ham Breakfast Cups

6 eggs
3 Tbsp. Almond milk
1 cup fresh spinach or kale leaves
1/2 cup ham (cut in pieces or cubes)
Shredded Cheese

Coat the bottom of muffin tins with olive oil, or use foil cupcake liners. In a small bowl, crack the eggs and add the almond milk. Stir with a fork until the yolks are completely mixed with the milk and egg white. Add the ham. Set aside. Place spinach leaves on the bottom of the greased muffin tins. Pour the egg and ham mix over the spinach. Top with the shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Serve alone or with a slice or 2 of avocado, tomatoes or fruit.

Enjoy!

Barb