House Foods Soba Noodle SaladThis is the perfect dish when you want to create lighter, Asian-inspired fare in the comfort of your own home!

Soba Noodle Salad with Tofu

Ingredients

1 House Foods Premium Tofu or Organic Tofu, Extra Firm, patted dry and cut into ½ inch strips
8 oz. soba noodles, uncooked
1 medium cucumber, cut into 1/8-inch-thick julienne strips
1 medium bell peppers, julienned

Dressing:

1/3 cup sushi rice vinegar
¼ cup lime juice
2 ½ tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. ginger, minced
2 tbsp. scallions, minced
2 tbsp. roasted sesame seeds

Preparation

1. Cook noodles in a large pot following package directions
2. Drain noodles and rinse well under cold water. Set aside and refrigerate.
3. Spray oil on a non-stick pan and grill tofu. Set aside and refrigerate.
4. Whisk all ingredients for dressing.
5. Toss together noodles, cucumber, and red bell pepper.
6. Add tofu strips and mix well.

Serves 6.

*Recipe and image courtesy of House Foods.*

Yara 2Adventurous Grains to Set You Gluten-Free

Healthy cooking is a passion: just like the love of good food, it’s a great feeling to know you’ve served up a side of “good for you” with your family’s favorite meal. Sometimes, allergies mean we need to modify our diets even further. The words “gluten intolerance” used to sound like funeral bells for fresh, warm bread or a comforting bowl of cereal, but now there are delicious alternatives available on the market. May is Celiac Awareness Month, so we want to inspire you with easy, natural ways to go gluten-free. Even if your body can process gluten, diversifying your diet always gives your body a chance to take in different combinations of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements – and you may find a new favorite food in the process!

Oats: You can still enjoy a warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning! Just know that while oats are naturally gluten-free, they are often contaminated from being processed near wheat products. Stick to buying oats (preferably steel-cut) from a supplier that labels them clearly as gluten-free.
Buckwheat: Don’t let the name fool you! Buckwheat is a closer cousin to rhubarb than wheat, and is a nutritious, satisfying option to replace wheat flour. Try it in pancakes!
Wild Rice: Another tricky name, wild rice is actually a seed, and higher in fiber and flavor than white rice. Pair it with vegetables or use it in a hearty soup.
Millet: These seeds are rich in B vitamins and absorb the flavors of the foods around them – use them to put a tasty spin on stuffing.
Amaranth: Densely nutritious and a good source of protein, amaranth works best when mixed with other ingredients. It’s great when combined with rice or quinoa in a stir-fry!
Teff: A little-known grain from Eastern Africa, teff is rich in calcium, iron, and other essential minerals. The tiny seeds can be ground into flour and used to bake bread or thicken soup.
Quinoa: Quinoa is one of the most famous gluten-free grains, but recent studies suggest it may actually irritate people with gluten sensitivities. If you have a gluten intolerance and haven’t yet tried quinoa, you might want to discuss it with your doctor before leaping into the unknown.

Rice isn’t exactly an uncommon food, but it does come in many more varieties than just white or brown! Broaden your palate by trying Malaysian red rice (excellent when simmered in coconut milk), fragrant jasmine rice, or even antioxidant-rich Chinese black rice!

Everyone enjoys satisfying breads, noodles and other traditionally glutinous goodies. Even if your body needs to skip the gluten, you don’t have to miss out on your cravings anymore! Hungry for a hot plate of pasta? Try Japanese soba noodles, made of naturally gluten-free buckwheat! Tempted by toast?  Have a slice of millet toast with creamy almond butter!

Yara’s new book, Health On Your Plate, includes many original recipes that can be adapted to be gluten-free, just by substituting one or more of these great grains for glutinous ones. Taking gluten out of your diet doesn’t mean taking the joy out of it! With a little creativity and a willingness to explore your supermarket, you won’t even miss it!

About the Author

Yara Shoemaker is an ordinary woman with an extraordinary appetite for knowledge about healthy living. She decided to dig deep into the facts of nutrition and health to learn how every bite would affect her and her loved ones. As a result, she created an ideal lifestyle centered on natural nourishment with real flavor. The principles are simple: savor the things you love and keep everything in proportion to be healthy and happy.  Find mouthwatering recipes, healthy advice and more at her blog: Yara’s Way!

Veggie So Low MeinLoaded with heart-healthy veggies, this lo mein recipe serves 4 for a simple yet satisfying meal!

Veggie So Low Mein

Created by Lisa Lillien aka Hungry Girl

Ingredients

3 bags House Foods Traditional Shirataki Noodle Substitute
1/2 cube vegetable bouillon
1/4 cup reduced-sodium/light soy sauce
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. granulated white sugar
One 12-oz. bag frozen stir-fry vegetables
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup shredded carrots
 
Preparation

Use a strainer to rinse and drain noodles. Thoroughly pat dry. Roughly cut noodles.
 
To make the sauce, in a medium bowl, stir to dissolve bouillon in 1/2 cup hot water. Add soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar, and stir until cornstarch dissolves.

Bring a wok (or large skillet) sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add all ingredients except noodles and sauce. Cook and stir until all veggies are hot, 5 – 7 minutes. Add sauce and cook and stir until thickened, about 3 – 4 minutes.
 
Serves 4.

*Recipe and image courtesy of House Foods.*

A curry that all the family can eat – never mind vegetarians only! Add Quorn if you need extra protein, or try to find an Indian cheese called paneer – cube it up and stir it in at the end.

Vegetable Tikka Masala

Ingredients

4 tablespoons rapeseed oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato purée
a squeeze of lemon juice
100g chestnuts mushrooms, halved or quartered
1 medium onion chopped
2 peppers (any colour), seeded and roughly chopped
100g small whole carrots, scrubbed
100g fresh or frozen peas (thawed)
chopped fresh coriander, to garnish
basmati rice and naan breads to serve
LoSalt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation
 
1.Heat the tablespoon of rapeseed oil in a medium saucepan, add half the onions, garlic and ginger and cook over a medium hear for 3-4 minutes until softening and smelling good. Now add the paprika, cumin, coriander and turmeric and cook for 5 minutes more.

2.Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and lemon juice and simmer for 10-15 minutes then blend with an electric blender.

3.Heat the remaning oil in large saucepan and onions. Fry the remaining onions for 5 minutes until softening, then add the peppers, carrots and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tikka masala sauce and simmer for 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Stir in the peas and heat through for 2-3 minutes. Taste and season with LoSalt and pepper.

4.Serve scattered with fresh coriander, with boiled basmati rice and a pile of warm naans.

Serves 4.

*Recipe and image courtesy of LoSalt.*

Ricotta, Mushroom and Spinach CannelloniUsing fresh lasagna sheets instead of dried cannelloni tubes makes this dish very easy to make – try making them with the kids for fun, and they have their main meal at the end of it all!

Ricotta, Mushroom and Spinach Cannelloni

Ingredients

For the tomato sauce:

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Two 400g cans chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree

For the cannelloni:

2 tablespoons olive oil
200g button mushrooms, chopped
200g fresh young spinach leave
300ml vegetable stock
50g quick-cook polenta
250g ricotta
8 sheets fresh lasagna
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
LoSalt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation
 
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and basil, bring to the boil and slowly cook for 15 minutes.

3. For the cannelloni filling, heat oil in a medium pan, add mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add spinach and cook for 2 minutes until wilted. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil, sprinkle in the polenta and whisk continuously for about 10 minutes until smooth and thick. Reduce heat and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

4. Cool and beat in the ricotta. Taste and season well. Use to fill each lasagne sheet (no need to cook it first!) along one short edge and roll up to enclose. Arrange the cannelloni rolls in an ovenproof dish and cover with tomato sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and cook in the preheated oven for 35 minutes until browned and bubbling.

5. Serve with a green salad.

Serves 4.

*Recipe and image courtesy of LoSalt.*

Juice Beauty green-apple-peelBusy moms (like “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom!) can now bring the spa home with the new Green Apple Peel from Juice Beauty! It’s easy to exfoliate, refine and lighten areas of hyperpigmentation in the comfort of your own home with this bestselling affordable peel! Depending on your skin type, Juice Beauty offers three unique formulations, including Full Strength, Sensitive and Blemish Clearing. It’s simple to use, too – just apply a generous layer on cleansed face, neck and decollette up to twice weekly. Then, leave on for 10 minutes and rinse well. You may feel a slight tingling sensation, but this is completely normal.

The Green Apple Peel exfoliates and refines to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, lightens hyperpigmentation and improves skin tone and texture. When using this product, take care to protect the skin from the sun when out and about this summer, due to the hydroxy-acids found naturally in the product.

Mom” loved how easy it was to achieve that glowing, fresh look after a facial right at home with the Green Apple Peel! There was only a mild tingling sensation experienced, nothing uncomfortable, and it rinsed off easily. “Mom” also loved that the peel is made with certified organic ingredients, such as Organic Apple Juice, Organic Lemon Juice, Organic White Grape and Organic Aloe Leaf Juice. You can learn more about the Green Apple Peel and other organic products from Juice Beauty at www.juicebeauty.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.

EggsFlorentineThis rich brunch dish from the Brierley Hill B&B in Lexington, Virginia is perfect accompanied by a tossed green salad!

Gluten-Free Eggs Florentine

Ingredients

6 Eggs (“Mom” prefers cage-free, vegetarian-fed eggs)

8 Oz. grated Swiss cheese

8 Oz. Feta cheese

16 Oz. Cottage cheese

1 Stick melted unsalted butter (“Mom” prefers organic)

1 Package frozen chopped Spinach

1 4.5 Oz. can sliced or chopped mushrooms

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Several drops of Tabasco sauce

Preparation

Beat eggs, add cheeses & butter and mix well. Cook and drain spinach well. Add cooked spinach to egg – cheese mixture with mushrooms. Add nutmeg and Tabasco sauce.

Pour into greased 9×13 baking dish and refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Serves 12.

*Recipe and image courtesy of BNBFinder.*

Mother’s Day Tips for Toddler Moms

Mother’s Day is a wonderful day to provide appreciation and relaxation for the hardworking mothers in our lives. No one deserves this appreciation more than the mothers of infants and toddlers. These hard working ladies rarely get rest and peace of mind in their day-to-day lives. Healthy portable food is a great option to make life easier for toddler moms. Today, companies like Sprout Organic Foods, are helping moms feed their children on-the-go while also providing organic, nutritious meals and snacks. There are additional small ways to make raising young children a little less stressful.

This Mother’s Day, consider incorporating these tips to make life just a little bit easier:

1. Color-coordinate. For mothers of multiple children, dress them all in one color. Something bright will help keep track of them in crowded places.

2. Multi-task. Make a long car ride snack-time as well. For the toddler or child that gets antsy on long trips, bring along healthy snacks and packaged food to keep them occupied as well as energized for the trip.

3. Carpool. When picking out daycares and schools for your children, consider carpools with other moms as well. Children are often better behaved around their friends and there’s less stress to drive only every few days. Plus fewer cars on the road is better for the environment.

4. Set a Playdate. Make plans with your mommy friends so that you can relax and enjoy adult time while the kids play together as well.

5. Prepack. The diaper bag, the lunch bags, extra clothes, etc. Rather than making a stressful run home, keep items in your car or at work that your children may need. Keep snacks on hand as well, like Sprout’s Toddler Meals and Snacks, granola bars and string cheese. It’s easier to just prepare for anything than be stuck in a bad situation.

Article & image courtesy of Sprout Foods

Sprout Baby Food’s mission is simple: provide babies and toddlers, and the parents who feed them, with fresh and delicious whole foods that encourage happy and healthy eating. Founded in 2009, the entire product line is organic and features dishes and recipes created by renowned chef Tyler Florence, a 15-year Food Network veteran, author and father of three and one of Sprout Food’s founders. Using unique cooking methods and seasoning the recipes with gentle, beneficial herbs and spices, Florence has created tasty, unique, nutritious combinations that babies and toddlers – and their parents – love. For more information, and to see the complete Sprout Food product line, please visit: http://www.sproutbabyfood.com/index.php.

gluten-free-quicheFrom the  Brewster House B&B in Freeport, Maine comes this creamy, gluten-free quiche that is made with goat cheese, “Mom’s” favorite addition to just about anything!

Gluten-Free Quiche with Goat Cheese

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter, softened, plus more for pan (“Mom” prefers organic)

1 package (1 pound) frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed

12 large eggs (“Mom” prefers cage-free, vegetarian-fed eggs)

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream

1 package (4-5 ounces) soft goat cheese, room temperature

4 scallions, thinly sliced

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush a 9 by 2 1/2 inch springform pan with butter. Line the sides of the pan with strips of waxed paper (the same height as the pan); brush paper with butter.

Squeeze excess moisture from hash browns. Mix in a bowl with butter, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pat into bottom and up sides of prepared pan, using a moistened dry measuring cup. Place on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until set, 15 to 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk sour cream, goat cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until well combined; whisk in 11 remaining eggs. Pour into crust, and sprinkle with scallions. Bake until set, 45 to 50 minutes. Unmold quiche, and peel off waxed paper before serving.

Serves 6-8 – depending on serving size.

*Recipe and image courtesy of BNBFinder.com.*

ElderberryGrow Your Own Superfruits 

Superfruits — fruits that are exceptionally rich in vitamins and antioxidants — are popular ingredients in a variety of healthy foods.

Fortunately, although “superfruit” connotes something rare and exotic, a surprising number of these plants, including aronia, elderberry and goji berry, are hardy shrubs that can be grown right in your backyard. They’re easy to grow and require no spraying or complicated pruning and produce pound after pound of juicy, nutritious fruit every year.

Aronia

Aronia is a large shrub native to eastern North America. With showy white flowers in spring and blazing red leaves in autumn, it makes an excellent choice for landscaping around your home. Large clusters of glossy black berries ripen in late summer, making aronia a standout in the kitchen as well as the garden.

The fruits are sometimes known as chokeberries because of their very sour flavor but they can be sweetened and used in juice, jam, desserts, even wine, which makes it even easier to savor their high levels of antioxidants and vitamins. In fact, they’ve been enjoyed in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and Russia for decades.

Aronia tolerates winter temperatures as low as -40° F, and does best when planted where it will get at least six hours of sun each day.

Elderberry

Elderberry is another North American native shrub that you can count on to beautify the landscape and provide bumper crops of nutritious fruits.

Varieties that have been selected for ornamental foliage are especially useful for home gardeners, as they are even more attractive than plain green wild types.

Black Lace, which was developed in England, where elderberry flowers and berries are eaten regularly, has delicate, lacy foliage in a dramatic near-black color.

Black Beauty has bigger, bolder foliage but the same dark purple-black color. Both offer large pink flowers that give way to small black berries that are very high in vitamin C; research suggests they can be effective in minimizing flu symptoms.

Elderberry plants don’t mind cold weather, surviving through temperatures of -25° F, and they can grow well even in partial shade (up to four hours a day). For the most abundant elderberry harvest, you should put at least two plants in your garden.

Goji Berries

Goji berries are antioxidant-packed and sell for high prices at health food stores but they’re actually easy-to-grow shrubs. Also known as wolfberry, the rich purple flowers appear in early summer and are followed by gleaming red berries. The plants produce fruit continuously until autumn and never need spraying or special attention.

Though goji has been popular in China for many centuries, specially selected varieties have only recently become available in North America. These include Sweet Lifeberry and Big Lifeberry goji from Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs, and they were chosen for their exceptional vigor, flavor and size.

Goji berries can tolerate temperatures as low as -20° F. They need to be grown in a sunny spot but they’re not fussy about soil and need little water or fertilizer once they’re established. They can be planted in the ground or grown in a large pot on a deck or patio.

Learn More

You can find all these plants at a garden center, in the fruits or the shrubs section. They cost between $20 and $50 depending on size.

For further facts, tips and recipes, visit www.ProvenWinners.com/VitaminBerries.
 
*Article courtesy of NAPS. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*