All Posts In Healthy Holidays

15 Fourth of July Potluck Recipes

by in Healthy Holidays, July 2, 2013

Jicama and Watermelon Salad
During the holiday weekend, I’m always invited to a potluck barbecue. But no matter which part of the meal I’m assigned to bring, the end result is always a no-fail dish and a string of ooohs and ahhhs by other guests. Here are some helpful tips and healthy recipes.

Tips for Easy Toting

Complicated or soggy dishes like soups, sauces, or soufflés can get VERY messy when traveling. But if that’s your assigned food, wrap the container several times in plastic wrap just in case it leaks. I also like to have the passenger hold the dish during a car ride to be on the safe side.

When traveling with a green salad, add the dressing right before serving in order to avoid soggy leaves.

If you do choose a hot dish, check ahead with the host if they have extra oven space or if you can grill your goodies right before serving. That can save you time at home plus the food will taste better freshly cooked.
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Cooking With Kids: Mother’s Day Breakfast

by in Healthy Holidays, Kid-Friendly, May 9, 2013

lemon pancakes
My kids always want to prepare a very special breakfast for me on Mother’s Day. But guess who ends up doing most of the cooking AND cleaning? (hint: me!) Instead of getting upset at the thought of extra chores, I take this opportunity to bond with my kiddos while we whip up delicious memories together in the kitchen.

The Menu
A few days before Mother’s Day, my kids and I plan out the menu and hit the market so we’re fully stocked and ready to cook. Here are some mouthwatering Mother’s Day breakfast picks, complete with tasks your kids can do.

Recipe: Lemon Blueberry Pancakes (pictured above)

Kid-Friendly Tasks:

  • Gathering ingredients
  • Measuring ingredients
  • Washing the blueberries
  • Cracking the egg
  • Stirring ingredients

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8 Ways to Use Leftover Ham

by in Easter, Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, March 31, 2013

ham risotto
With so many delicious ways to use the leftovers, you might want to make some extra ham this Easter.

One-Pot Wonder
Ham gives this whole-grain dish some extra protein and a salty bite.

Recipe: Barley Risotto with Ham and Mushrooms (above)

Sandwiches
These perfectly-portioned sliders will make a brown bag lunch extra special.

Recipe: Ham Club Sandwich Sliders

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Asparagus Spinach Salad With Tahini Dressing

by in Easter, Healthy Recipes, March 28, 2013

asparagus salad
With the weather warming up, and the sun peeking out just a little bit more day by day, our meals are lighter and include more fruits and veggies. For a satisfyingly fresh lunch, I’ve combined fresh spring asparagus and spinach — with nori seaweed as a surprise ingredient — into a lovely spring salad. Instead of store-bought salad dressing I use tahini for creamy flavor and texture. Lemon juice and fresh ginger add bold flavor without excess calories and fat. Slivered almonds provide filling healthy fats to keep you satisfied all afternoon. Bring this salad to an outdoor spring picnic party, or serve it as an Easter side dish. Read more

20 Healthy Easter Side Dishes

by in Easter, Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, March 28, 2013

asparagus recipe
With a bounty of bright spring vegetables popping up in markets and gardens, there’s plenty of fresh produce available to make delicious and eye-appealing veggies to serve at your Easter feast.

Potatoes-A-Plenty
Sweet or white potatoes are both bursting with nutritional goodness including vitamin C. Mash them, top with cheese or roast. The possibilities are endless.

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Easter Egg Safety

by in Easter, Food Safety, Healthy Holidays, March 27, 2013

Easter eggs
Easter wouldn’t be complete without brightly-colored eggs and a full out egg hunt. But who wants to ruin the festivities with spoiled eggs?

Food Safety Basics
Eggs are considered a potentially hazardous food that may cause illness if they’re not handled correctly. Raw and undercooked eggs have been associated with salmonella poisoning. Most folks infected with the salmonella bacteria develop symptoms about 12 to 72 hours after infected. Most people can recover but if symptoms are severe, hospitalization may be required especially in those with a compromised immune system (like the very young and old). Proper handling, cooking, and hand washing can prevent most of the issues.

Keeping Eggs Safe
Egg safety begins at your market and continues until the time when you reserve leftovers.

  • Purchasing: Inspect egg cartons at the market. Don’t purchase cracked or dirty eggs and be sure to check the sell-by date. Eggs should always be refrigerated, even when on display.
  • Storing: Be sure to get those eggs home quickly. They shouldn’t sit at room temperature longer than 2 hours—1 hour if it’s above 90 degrees. Once home, place the eggs in your refrigerator immediately.
  • Preparing: When preparing eggs, wash your hands, any utensils, and surfaces that will come into contact with the eggs. If you’re not sure if the eggs are safe to eat, toss them. Once the equipment is used for the eggs, be sure to wash them with soap and warm water immediately. Don’t use them for another prep task (that’s cross-contamination!).
  • Cooking: Always make sure that your eggs are safe to eat. For hard-boiled (or any cooked) eggs, you want to cook the eggs until both the white and yolk are firm. Learn how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs.
  • Leftovers: Hard-boiled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They shouldn’t be frozen.

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Diabetic-Friendly Easter Recipes

by in Easter, Healthy Holidays, March 26, 2013

asparagus
It’s time to start planning your Easter menu and it can be challenging to accommodate relatives with special dietary requests. If cooking for a diabetic is on your to-do list, we’ve got healthy, spring-inspired recipes with 30 grams of carbohydrates (or less) per serving.

Brunch Ideas
How about Easter brunch? That’ll leave you free for more family time and (hopefully) a little time to relax at the end of the day. A spread of breakfast fare, lunch dishes and some veggie-heavy sides will please everyone.

Avocado-Feta Dip
Gina’s Quiche Tartlets
Green Tea Poached Salmon With Ginger Lime Sauce
Arugula Salad With Pesto
Apple and Ham Salad
Roasted Carrots
Asparagus With Tangy-Smoky Dressing (above)

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Make Your Own Chocolate-Covered Matzo

by in Healthy Holidays, March 24, 2013

chocolate-covered matzo
When I was a little girl, chocolate-covered matzo was a prized dessert. With 5 siblings and a dad who all love chocolate, it was tough to get a piece! As a mom, instead of purchasing store-bought for my family I make my own and jazz it up with some fun kosher-for-Passover flavors.

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Spring Pea Salad

by in Easter, Healthy Recipes, March 21, 2013

spring pea salad
I love peas; I enjoy them whole and juiced but my favorite way to munch on them is in this spring salad. There is so much green in this dish: mixed greens, avocados and peas. No dressing from a bottle here! Sherry vinegar and freshly squeezed orange juice make this salad flavorful without the added calories and fat of traditional store-bought dressings. I also like to throw in some flax oil for an added dose of healthy fats. Serve this salad for lunch or as a side at dinner.

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Mint Green Tea Spritzer

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, March 17, 2013

green tea spritzer
For a refreshing and festive non-alcoholic St. Paddy’s day beverage, try this cooling mint green tea spritzer. Green tea is full of good-for-you antioxidants and the revitalizing fresh mint leaves provide drinkable stress relief. Plain seltzer water makes this drink super fun and bubbly. No table sugar here – honey acts as a natural sweetener. Serve these drinks spruced up with some fresh lemon wedges on the side of the glass.

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