Previ Culinary: Chickpea Salad Mason Jar Meal

This salad is easy, convenient, and full of protein to fuel you for the rest of the day. As with most mason jar meals, simply layer the ingredients strategically starting with the hearty ingredients at the bottom and moving upwards with the lighter ingredients. We promise you will be looking forward to lunch time!

Chickpea Salad Mason Jar

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Tbsp. dressing of choice
  • ¼ cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup romaine lettuce
  • ¼ cup chopped tomato
  • red onion, julienned (sliced thinly)- as much as you like
  • ¼ cup grated carrot
  • ¼ cup chopped cucumber
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese, optional

Directions:

  1. Layer your salad in a mason jar in this order (from the bottom up):
  • Dressing
  • Chickpeas
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Onion
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Cheese (if using)
  1. When ready to eat, simply shake the jar and enjoy!

Chick Pea salad mason jar meal

Megan Huard, Chef RD and Stefanie Gates, chef, are regular contributors to our blog and culinary advisors for PreviMedica. They enjoy developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about them here and here.

All Things Peach

Freshly picked selection:

Peaches

Peaches

Peaches are a popular summer fruit with a fuzzy exterior and sweet, juicy interior.

When it’s in season:

May- October

What to look for when purchasing:

Look for intensely fragrant fruit that gives slightly to palm pressure. Peaches can bruise very easily so look for ones that don’t have any soft spots.

How to store:

Refrigerate ripe peaches for up to 5 days in a plastic bag. To ripen a peach place in a paper bag, pierced in several places at room temperature.

Varieties:

There are thought to be hundreds of varieties of peaches but they typically fall in one of two categories: freestone or clingstone. Freestone has a pit that easily falls away from the flesh, whereas with clingstone the fruit adheres to the pit. Clingstones are the ones that are most readily available to consumers and freestones are used more in commercial settings.

How to prepare:

Peaches are typically eaten raw, and the whole thing is edible including the fuzzy skin. They can also be peeled. The easiest way to peel a peach is to blanch it in boiling water for 30 seconds and then put it in an ice bath to cool off.

Nutritional Benefit:

Health-Benefits-of-peaches 

Recipes to try:

Since peaches don’t turn brown right after cutting them, like other fruits, they make a great addition to overnight oats. This recipe by Be Whole Be You is super easy and can be made gluten free and/or dairy free.

Peach Pie Overnight Oats

These muffins from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen would make a great on-the-go snack or could even pass as a dessert.

Peach Cobbler Muffins

For something on the more savory side, check out this one-pot dish from Cooking Classy that pairs peach with balsamic vinegar.

Balsamic Peach Chicken Skillet

If you want the sweet side of peaches with a savory and spicy kick, try this pork recipe from The Organic Kitchen.

Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Peach Salsa

Our Nutritionists Say:

 “I love mixing peaches into organic plain Greek yogurt for breakfast or a snack since they sweeten the yogurt naturally”

-Brett Talenfeld, RD, PreviMedica Nutrition Advisor

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

How To Grow Your Own Herbs

Fresh herbs can make all the difference in your cooking. They add tons of flavor and can brighten up any dish. The problem is that they tend to have a short shelf life and often go bad before you can use them. So why not grow your own? It’s easier than you think!

HerbGarden-7

Some things to consider:

  1. Pick the right location for your herbs. Herbs do great in pots so it isn’t necessary to have yard space for a full garden. When picking a location, it’s important to consider your light. Herbs do best in locations with partial sunlight. Pick a place in your yard that gets some shade throughout the day. Back porches or even front entryways are good choices. You can also grow herbs on a window sill in your home, if they will get direct sunlight there for a portion of the day.
  2. Decide what you want to plant. Which herbs do you use the most? If you are looking for a little bit of everything I would suggest starting with basil, rosemary, parsley, thyme, and mint. These are the basics and the easiest to grow and maintain.
  3. Plant your herbs. If you are growing herbs for the first time, instead of starting with seeds start with already grown plants which can flourish very quickly and are readily available at most home improvement stores or plant nurseries. It’s also important to use a good quality potting soil instead of the soil already in the ground, which tends to be sandier and not very nutrient rich.  Make sure to plant your herbs about a foot apart from each other or in their own individual pots so they have room to grow.
  4. Water is key. Depending on how warm the climate is where you live, making sure your herbs get enough water is the biggest determining factor in how well they will do. It is best to water herbs every day. If you live in very warm and/dry climate area you may even need to water them twice a day.
  5. Trim as needed. If you are using your herbs on a regular basis you most likely wont have to trim them very often or at all. To harvest it is best to take just the leaves on larger plants like basil and mint and cut whole stems for things like rosemary and thyme. Be sure when picking your herbs for use to use sharp scissors or clippers to help prevent damage to the plant. Some herbs will need to be trimmed on occasion to keep them growing strong and flavorful. Basil, thyme, and rosemary are the most common. Once you notice flower buds, it is best to trim those off. The flowers can cause the herb to lose flavor and prevent the plant from continuing to grow.
  6. Enjoy! Having fresh herbs when you need them is so convenient. Be sure to wash all herbs before using them. You can take off a few basil leaves for an Italian dinner, add a few sprigs of rosemary to some roasted veggies, use some fresh chopped parsley to homemade dressing, or add fresh mint to your daily water bottle. And once you feel more comfortable, you can add more herbs to your growing garden like cilantro, tarragon, and oregano (this one spreads quickly).

Happy gardening!

How to Grow your own herbs


Megan Huard, Chef RD is a contributor on our blog as well as one of the culinary advisors here at PreviMedica. You can read more about her here.

 

Nourished Kids: Whole Grain Wild Blueberry Pancakes

It’s National Blueberry Month! To celebrate, we decided to make a classic for our kiddos – whole grain blueberry pancakes! Make an extra big batch for your next pancake Sunday and freeze them so your child can eat them throughout the coming weeks…assuming there are any left. Get creative with lunches and make a cream cheese sandwich using pancakes instead of bread for something different. If you don’t have blueberries, sub in raspberries, strawberries, or even blackberries. The options are endless!

IMG_3409

Whole Grain Wild Blueberry Pancakes

Adapted from: www.bhg.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. organic brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 free range egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ cups organic buttermilk or sour milk (can make this with dairy free milk also)
  • 3 tbsp. melted coconut oil or grass fed butter
  • ½ cup frozen wild blueberries

Directions:

  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, egg, buttermilk or milk, and melted coconut oil or butter.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold just until incorporated. It is ok if there are lumps.
  4. Gently fold in the wild blueberries.
  5. Heat and grease a griddle or skillet over medium to high heat. For little ones, make mini pancakes by pouring two tablespoons of batter into the skillet.  Cook until it bubbles, and then flip.  Cook until golden brown.
  6. Set aside on a plate and place the plate in a warm oven until finished making all of the pancakes.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Stefanie Gates, chef, is a regular contributor to our blog and a culinary advisor for PreviMedica. She enjoys developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about her here.

Previ Culinary: How to Make Spaghetti Squash

Not only is spaghetti squash a fantastic pasta replacement, it’s also a great tasting vegetable. Slightly sweet with a mildly crunchy texture, it can perfectly compliment any dish. Check out this video on how to prepare this versatile vegetable!

How to Make Spaghetti Squash

Written By: PreviMedica Culinary Advisors

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut the squash down the center, lengthwise.
  3. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon, lightly oil the flesh and place each half flesh side down on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until squash is cooked through and tender.  It will be soft.
  5. Let it cool.
  6. Once it has cooled enough to touch, using a fork, scrape down the length of the flesh.  The squash will come apart in strands resembling spaghetti.
  7. Serve with your favorite sauce or eat plain.
  8. Enjoy!

Squash

Megan Huard, Chef RD and Stefanie Gates, chef, are regular contributors to our blog and culinary advisors for PreviMedica. They enjoy developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about them here and here.

 

All Things Mint

Freshly picked selection:

Mint

HerbGarden-6

Mint has a history of being a symbol of hospitality based in Greek mythology.

When it’s in season:

June – August

What to look for when purchasing:

Choose leaves that are evenly colored with no sign of wilting.

        How to store:         

Store a bunch of mint, stems down, in a glass of water with a plastic bag over it to keep them as fresh as possible. Refrigerate for up to a week, changing the water every 2 days.

Varieties:

There are over 30 species of mint with the most popular being peppermint and spearmint. Peppermint is more pungent and has bright green leaves, whereas spearmint has leaves that are gray-green and have a milder flavor.

Nutritional Benefits:  

Mint

How to prepare:

Mint is used in both sweet and savory dishes and drinks. It is typically enjoyed fresh but can be found in cooked dishes as well.

Recipes to try:

Mint adds a nice refreshing flavor to this smoothie from 3 Boys Un-Processed.

Vanilla Mint Green Smoothie 

This sweet potato side dish from Healthy Seasonal Recipes is packed full of flavor.

Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Curry and Mint

For something a little bit heartier, but equally full of flavor, try these meatballs from Plating Pixels.

Greek Turkey Meatballs with Cucumber Mint Sauce

Mint leans mostly to Mediterranean taste and spices and is a perfect complement to this lentil salad from Kalyns Kitchen.

Lebanese Lentil Salad

Our Nutritionists Say:

“I love mint! I always add it when I make meatballs! One of my favorite foods growing up were meatballs, and my dad knew that, so naturally he always made them and he added mint (I think most Greeks do) so now I do too. Also, we can’t forget about mojitos, the second best way I enjoy mint!  And when my tummy is upset or I get a random headache peppermint oil works wonders.”

-Basilia Theofilou, Nutrition Advisor

 

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

Homemade Sports Drink

When our bodies are depleted, whether it is through sickness or vigorous exercise, replenishment is essential.  Our bodies crave hydration!  Unfortunately, the options on the grocery store shelves for hydration and replenishment can be full of added sugar, artificial sweeteners and dyes, and other unwanted ingredients.  Luckily, it is very easy to make your own sports drink and all it takes is a few simple ingredients.

  1. Coconut Water: contains essential minerals for your body such as potassium, magnesium, copper, and antioxidants.
  1. Himalayan Sea Salt: contains minimum of 84 natural trace elements that can help regulate the water content in your body and encourage a healthy pH among your cells, along with many other benefits.
  1. Fresh Orange Juice: can help to detoxify the body, boost cellular repair and metabolism (great for after a workout!), and enhance immune system function.
  1. Fresh Lemon Juice: is a detoxifier, promotes blood sugar balance, helps to maintain the appropriate acid/alkali state throughout your body, and this is just skimming the surface.

Homemade Sports Drink

Recipe written by: www.dontmesswithmama.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 tsp. Himalayan Sea Salt
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 cups plain coconut water

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend well. Store in an airtight container and drink within 3 days.  Tastes best cold!

Homemade sports drink

 

Megan Huard, Chef RD and Stefanie Gates, chef, are regular contributors to our blog and culinary advisors for PreviMedica. They enjoy developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about them here and here.

{Previ Culinary} Asian Asparagus and Edamame Salad

This Asian inspired salad packs a ton of flavor and nutrition, not to mention it is visually stunning. Full of protein, beta carotene, and antioxidants, this great tasting salad will become a week night go-to. Have it as a side dish or as an entree topped with grilled shrimp or fish!

Asian Asparagus and Edamame Salad

Written By: PreviMedica Culinary Advisors

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends trimmed off and sliced very fine into small coins
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 cup edamame, steamed and cooled
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

For the Dressing:

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp. organic soy sauce or organic tamari
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl.
  2. For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well. Pour dressing over salad and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the sesame seeds.
  3. Chill before consuming for at least two hours.

Copy of Healthy Potato Skins

Megan Huard, Chef RD and Stefanie Gates, chef, are regular contributors to our blog and culinary advisors for PreviMedica. They enjoy developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about them here and here.

All Things Blackberry

Freshly picked selection:

Blackberries

Healthy-blackberry-recipes

Blackberries can also be called bramble because they grow on bushes with thorns called brambles. Blackberries are the largest of the wild berries.

When it’s in season:

May- August

What to look for when purchasing:

Look for plump, deep-colored berries.

        How to store:         

It is best to eat them as fresh as possible. If you need to store them they can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Varieties:

Varieties of blackberries are based off of how they grow. There are erect cane plants that grow without support and then trailing vines that grow on a vine. Trailing vine varieties are the most common, and the blackberries that are most readily available.

How to prepare:

Blackberries are typically eaten raw but can be used for pies, jams, and sauces among other things from breakfast to dessert.

Nutritional Benefit: BlackberriesRecipes to try:

Let’s start off with breakfast. Leah’s Plate has a great overnight oats recipe for an on-the-go option.

Blackberry Banana Overnight Oats

The tartness of blackberries makes it wonderful ingredient for salad dressings. Will Cook For Smiles combines the blackberries with some spinach and chicken for a great salad.

Blackberry Chicken Spinach Salad with Blackberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Berries are often paired with pork when it comes to protein, but Lively Table pairs it with salmon for something unique and easy to make.

Blackberry Glazed Salmon

And of course, we can’t talk about berries without including a dessert. This dessert is not only gluten free but made in a blender which makes it super simple.

Blender Blackberry Quinoa Cakes

Our Nutritionists Say:

“I love to use blackberries in my smoothie or as a substitute for jam on a gluten free waffle with some nut butter.”-Amy Pieczarka, RD, LDN, CCN, CDE

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 3000 food, wine, and culinary terms. 3rd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1995. Print.

Mateljan, George. The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007. Print.

Candida 101

By now I’m sure you’ve heard something about candida. Whether it is for health reasons or because it’s the trending new “cleanse”, more and more people are looking into candida and an anti-candida eating pattern. So let’s explore the facts a little further…CAndidaWhat is candida anyway? Candida albicans is a yeast that normally inhabits the gut in small amounts. It also inhabits other mucous membranes in the body such as the skin and mouth. Levels of Candida, as well as other resident fungi, are kept in check by the “good” or friendly bacteria in the gut, such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. However, if the growth of Candida is not kept under control it can lead to an overgrowth known as candidiasis or Candida Related Complex. Candida most commonly presents itself as a vaginal infection, oral thrush, or diaper rash, but it may still exist without presenting itself in this way. If the immune system is compromised, the yeast proliferates and transforms into a harmful infection capable of causing disease that can severely compromise the immune system even further. The by-products released by Candida are then absorbed into the bloodstream and may travel to many areas of the body. As the immune system attempts to deal with these foreign molecules, it can lead to a variety of different symptoms and can be the underlying cause of many chronic and difficult to diagnose health problems.

While scientific evidence on candidiasis and its effects are quite prominent, the science is limited when it comes to determining what the best anti-Candida nutrition therapy is. Most successful eating plans have been based on clinical and anecdotal experience. Experts suggest that the goal of an anti-Candida plan is to starve the yeast by eliminating its main source of fuel – sugar. If you are already avoiding obvious sugar like soda, cupcakes, and cookies, this might sound quite simple right off the bat. However it is suggested that sugar in all forms be avoided, including naturally found sugars such as those in fruits and grains. Moreover, there are other suggested dietary approaches to prevent the proliferation of the yeast including the avoidance of individual food sensitivities, dairy, mushrooms, yeasts, and moldy foods such as peanuts, cashews, and pistachios.

A number of common symptoms such as unexplained fatigue, anxiety, joint pain, headaches, or brain fog can be associated with Candida overgrowth and likely to be alleviated after implementing a Candida-friendly eating pattern; although this is easier said than done! While cutting out obvious sugars from your eating pattern may be something you should probably be doing anyway to promote positive eating, further dietary restrictions to stay Candida-friendly are best done with the help of a nutrition expert. If you are dealing with candidiasis and would like to learn more, we encourage you to work with our nutrition and culinary experts to design a plan that is right for you!

Looking for a Candida-friendly dinner? Our Coconut Seafood Curry recipe contains coconut and garlic, both of which are powerful anti-fungal ingredients that can assist in eliminating Candida overgrowth. Check out the video below and the full recipe here.


Basilia Theofilou is a contributor on our blog as well as one of the nutrition advisors here at PreviMedica. You can read more about her here.
Resources:
Kim, Joon, and Peter Sudbery. “Candida Albicans, a Major Human Fungal Pathogen.” The Journal of Microbiology J Microbiol. 49.2 (2011): 171-77. Web. 21 Sept. 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21538235
Kumamoto CA. Inflammation and gastrointestinal Candida colonization. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2011 Aug;14(4):386-91. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2011.07.015. Epub 2011 Jul 28. Review. PubMed PMID: 21802979; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3163673. Web. 21 Sept. 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3163673/
Truss, Orian. “Restoration of Immunologic Competence to Candida Albicans.” ORTHOMOLECULAR PSYCHIATRY 9 (1980): 287-301. Web. 21 Sept. 2016. http://4fnfl92psu9e3d280z3z4m8q-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/research/1980-v09n04-p287.pdf

 

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