8 Tips to Shake the Salt

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The American diet is rich in high-sodium foods and, between processed foods and eating out, we are often getting much more than we need. Some say salt is a substitute for the flavor that used to exist when we consumed fresh, locally-grown produce. Though an easy way to flavor food, salt is a cheap and rather pedestrian flavoring agent.

Excess salt is a danger to the body and the brain. It can raise blood pressure, risk of heart attack and stroke, put a strain on your kidneys, and more. Did you know it can also lead to over-eating and cause weight gain?

Here are some tips to enjoy satisfying flavor in our foods, without added salt.

  1. Huddle up with herbs. What cuisines do you enjoy – Italian, Mexican, French, Indian? Choose some herbs that fit the flavor profiles and add them to your dish. For example, oregano, rosemary, and basil are go-to Italian herbs for elevating your pasta dish.
  2. Citrus zest and juices. Grate the skin of organic lemons, limes, or oranges for sweet and/or savory meals. Spritz fresh lime onto your tacos or lemon into a lentil soup.
  3. Roasted root vegetables. Lightly toss your favorite root vegetables (such as beets, parsnips, etc) in melted coconut oil and roast at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until tender, turning over once halfway through roasting.
  4. Eat slowly. Chewing your food well breaks down the carbohydrates, making it taste sweeter. Slowing down while eating introduces your tastebuds to the complex flavors in your food and makes for a more pleasurable meal experience.
  5. Caramelized onions. Sauté diced onions in some olive oil, stirring frequently until browned (about 45 minutes to 1 hour). Use in a French onion soup or on rice dishes, burgers or veggie burgers, omelets, and more!
  6. Organic food can be more flavorful. Try some organic strawberries or eggs and see if you can tell a difference between them and their conventional counterparts.
  7. De-glaze the pan. By simply using some balsamic vinegar, which combines with those sticky brown bits in your cooking pan, you can make a delicious sauce.
  8. Spice it up. Cumin adds a depth of flavor to a number of dishes, as does adobo, curry powder and even nutmeg.

Evaluate your salt consumption and then challenge yourself to incorporate one or more of these ideas. Your tastebuds and body will appreciate it.

 

Warm Breakfast: Great Goji Groatmeal

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For National Hot Tea & Oatmeal Month, we shared the Great Goji Groatmeal breakfast recipe on this recent WBNS 10TV segment with Karina Nova and Ross Caruso. With our weather being perfect (meaning: cold, rainy) for this breakfast, we’re sharing it here with you too!

What is an oat groat? It’s the whole grain form of oatmeal, before it is steel-cut, rolled, or pulverized into an instant oatmeal package. These oat groats are chewy and take some time to cook, which is why we called upon our trusty slow cooker to work the overnight shift.

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Ingredients
2 cups oat groats
2 tablespoons chia seeds (and/or flax seeds)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
3 cups water (we used hot green tea)
3 cups of non-dairy milk (i.e. DIY almond milk)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 apples, cored and blended
1/8 cup of goji berries (or substitute with raisins)
1/3 cup cacao nibs (optional)

Instructions
Use a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Put oat groats, chia, shredded coconut, water, non-dairy milk, coconut oil, and goji berries (and cacao nibs if desired) inside. Blend cored apple and add to slow cooker. Stir all ingredients and cover, cooking on low for about 8 hours (automatic slow cookers should then switch over to ‘warm’ setting). Stir and serve with additional fruit (i.e. berries), nuts, seeds, or sweetener on top and enjoy a warm belly of food to start your day!

In the Client Spotlight!

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“Working with you was the first time I have ever worked with a nutritionist and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Now having done so I can confidently say I’m very happy I did!

As a result of our work together I changed daily food choices in my lifestyle including but not limited to: ditching sugary creamer, consuming less coffee, drinking more water, adding in kale to my daily egg breakfast routine (which I love), lowering my overall weight average by 5 pounds (my husband lost about 10lbs), incorporating more veggies in my meals, and most importantly getting my digestion back on track. I’m proud to say I’m “regular.” 🙂 I also no longer weigh myself after ‘eating bad’ and punish myself by skipping meals. I give myself grace and let my body get back into balance.

Adrienne, you are a wealth of health knowledge! I loved listening to your ideas on how to achieve my overall best level of health—both body and mind, internal and external. I also really enjoyed the ways you help break down my calls to action after each meeting. Additionally, you are full of grace and never made me feel bad if I didn’t stick with something we agreed to. Another benefit is that I look at food and my body in a healthier way. I also think more about ways to improve my mental health on a daily basis by doing things that bring me joy and help my brain breathe.

I’m also happy I did this program as I recently found out I am pregnant with our second child! I feel like it will be easier to cut out coffee now as well as deal with the hormones and cravings for things like nachos and sweets. I know I’ll be eating healthier as a whole.

The most important thing I tell others that you will learn so much about food, your body, and yourself and you’ll be so thankful you did!”

– Christine Y., London, Ohio


You know what ‘sparks joy’ for us? Well this client was not only a lovely, bubbly person to work with but her enthusiasm and gratitude for all she had accomplished reminded us of why we do this work. It is a great honor to guide her, and all clients, from a place where they feel stuck, hurt and in pain, or feeling like something is ‘off’ to where they feel light, whole, confident, and vibrant! Our long-standing mission in life is to help others heal and reach their potential. Thank you for allowing us to work our magic :).

Stay tuned, more client spotlights to come!

Burgers & Frittatas: Five Star Foodies

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A couple of months ago, as you may remember, we spoke about vegan grilling options. To our delight, the quest for finding a darn-near-perfect veggie burger was achieved when we found Five Star Foodies in the Kroger frozen food section.

In the past decade or so, food companies have been stepping up their game when it comes to their veggie burgers. No longer is the only option a frozen gray disc made of soy protein, gluten, and questionable flavorings.

We’ve been to local restaurants with great veggie burger options and made recipes from scratch; however, if you just want to run into your grocery store and secure yourself a delicious, easy dinner, this might be for you.

vegan burger

Why you might like the Five Star Foodie products:

You’re vegan or plant-based and want a delicious burger

A great variety of artichoke burgers beyond the original recipe include French Herb, Indian Tandoori, Thai Coconut, and Italian Herb. We recommend doubling the deliciousness by topping with one or more of these options: guacamole, mustard, crunchy lettuce, fresh parsley or cilantro, and salsa.

You’d like to secure your 3 burgers for less than $6

Beyond burgers, they have vegan frittatas that are soy & nut free, gluten-free, 70% organic and non-GMO. Our personal favorite is the Potato Parsley one and we recommend adding some salsa or hot sauce on top.

You have friends or family members who are vegan or gluten-free

You like an ingredients list that is pronounceable and easily identifiable as food items

Why you may NOT like these products:

You still believe that the word ‘vegan’ means tasteless or ‘only for vegans’

You’re a vampire.

Your name is Gaston; you’ve eaten between 4 and 5 dozen eggs a day for years now and stubbornly refuse to switch things up and try a vegan frittata.

We’re stretching our creativity here :D. There’s only one thing to do, try a food item and see if you like it!

Want to learn more? Check out Five Star Foodies products and more.

*This post was not sponsored (but we’d certainly not mind if it were *nom nom nom*).

Vegan Grilling for Labor Day

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With Labor Day celebrations right around the corner, we have some delectable vegan options for your family and friends.  Shared last week with Karina Nova and Russ Caruso on WBNS 10TV, the video can be viewed here and we have the ideas below!

Veggie Kabobs

Such a simple and beautiful arrangement can be made with four simple ingredients, including zucchini, red onion, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Pop the pieces onto skewers and grill for a few minutes. You can brush some olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette over them and your choice for herbs.

Five Star Foodies Burgers

These burgers work very well to satisfy your vegan, gluten-free crowd; top with guacamole, mustard, or salsa.

Vegan Potato Salad

Potato salad – full of potassium and fiber, can be made vegan simply by choosing a different mayonnaise (we used Fabanaise from Whole Foods). It’s an excellent side dish and the recipe can be found here.

Grilled fruit with ice cream

Pineapple, pear, and peaches have their sweetness brought forth with grilling. Serve with a vegan ice cream.

Let us know how you like the recipes; have a safe, enjoyable, and delicious upcoming Labor Day weekend!

 

Kinda Big ‘Dill’ Potato Salad

10tv national potato day

We recently celebrated National Potato Day by sharing this recipe, and the result, with Laura Borchers and Jeff Booth on WBNS 10TV. Now we’re sharing it with you and the rest of the world!

But first, some fun facts about potatoes: they were first cultivated by the Inca in South America about 7-10k years ago; the English word ‘potato’ comes from the Spanish ‘patata.’

Americans eat about 124 lbs of potatoes per year; Germans eat about twice that.

Potatoes are relatively low in calories yet they pack a nutritional punch in terms of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber!

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Serves 4
Prep time: about 15 minutes

Ingredients
1 lb potatoes (we used 4-5 red potatoes for a bit of color in the finished product)
1 cup of chopped celery
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup plant-based mayo (the one we used included avocado oil and aquafaba as the first two ingredients)
1 tbsp mustard
1/2 tbsp dill
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp tumeric

Instructions
Boil potatoes until tender and easily pierced by fork (about 10 minutes). While the potatoes cool, mix the rest of the ingredients together well in a bowl. Once potatoes are cooled, combine with the mixture. Refrigerate and let the flavors meld for at least an hour (it’s best-tasting the next day).

As mentioned in the tv segment, these are recipe guidelines – have fun and try variations with bell pepper, parsley, and even hot sauce!

Meatless Monday: Cauliflower & Walnut Crumbles

cauliflower taco

Whether you’re trying a Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, or want to creatively use some delicious and healthy faux ‘ground beef’ crumbles, it’s your lucky day! This recipe provides a delicious alternative to store-bought processed soy crumbles with questionable ingredients. It’s smoky, savory and completely plant-based.

Use it for tacos, lasagna, spaghetti and marinara sauce, chili, and wraps!

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower (about 3 cups)
8oz fresh mushrooms (we used cremini)
1 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons coconut aminos or tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons adobo seasoning
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper and of salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After removing the core and leaves of the cauliflower, start pulsing it in food processor (depending on how large your food processor is, this may require multiple attempts); it should have the look and consistency of rice. Pulse the mushrooms and the walnuts until about the same size pieces as the cauliflower. Add cauliflower, mushrooms, and walnuts into a large bowl and mix in coconut aminos or tamari. Stir in all spices including salt and pepper and mix well. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (to prevent sticking) and spread mixture on top. Bake for 25 minutes then stir and turn mixture (to ensure evenness) before baking another 15-20 minutes.

If making tacos, garnish with cilantro, chopped red onion and romaine lettuce, and your favorite salsa. For spaghetti sauce, add meat crumbles to your heated tomato sauce along with some chopped parsley and stir well.

The Great Goji Groatmeal

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National Whole Grains Month inspired us to venture more into actual whole grains (none of that ‘made-with-whole-grain’ partial credit here) in this breakfast recipe. What is an oat groat? It’s the whole grain form of oatmeal, before it is steel-cut, rolled, or pulverized into an instant oatmeal package. These oat groats are chewy and take some time to cook, which is why we called upon our trusty slow cooker to work the overnight shift.

 

Ingredients
2 cups oat groats
2 tablespoons chia seeds (and/or flax seeds)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
3 cups water
3 cups of non-dairy milk (i.e. DIY almond milk)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 apples, cored and blended
1/8 cup of goji berries (or substitute with raisins)
1/3 cup cacao nibs (optional)

 

Instructions
Use a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Put oat groats, chia, shredded coconut, water, non-dairy milk, coconut oil, and goji berries (and cacao nibs if desired) inside. Blend cored apple and add to slow cooker. Stir all ingredients and cover, cooking on low for about 8 hours (automatic slow cookers should then switch over to ‘warm’ setting). Stir and serve with additional fruit (i.e. berries), nuts, seeds, or sweetener on top and enjoy a warm belly of food to start your day!

Solar Eclipse Smoothie Bowl

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It turns out that the earth revolves around smoothie bowls; during this morning’s ‘solar eclipse’, you’ll see the sun temporarily blocked by, not the moon, but this colorful dish (safe to view with the naked eye) .

We used to call it ‘smoothie ice cream’ back in the day, whenever our too-thick fruit and vegetable blends were just easier to eat with a spoon. Now you can find them quite a few places, including fresh-juice establishments such as Native and Zest (if you’re in Columbus). Or…how about making your own?! It’s easy and there are so many ways to add variety, you’ll never be bored with breakfast again!

Prep time: 5 minutes, more if you want to have fun and take pictures

Ingredients

1 bag, 10oz of tropical fruit (strawberries, mango, banana) from Whole Foods
8oz of cranberries
1-2 cups of spinach
water to desired texture

Toppings – cacao nibs, walnuts, and shredded coconut

….but again, this is what we did; if you want to use chia seeds, sliced bananas, fresh blueberries, or almonds,  do so. Try your own smoothie bowl adventure!

Instructions

Put all ingredients (minus toppings) into blender and blend until desired thickness. Pour smoothie into bowl and top with your favorite fruits, nuts, or seeds.

Recipe: Celebrity Couple! Choco-cado Cookies

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When celebrities get together, the press loves to dub them with a cute and catchy portmanteau; Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s ‘Brangelina’ being one of the most well-known. Well they need to move over because chocolate and avocado or ‘Choco-cado’ have once again proven themselves a yummy pairing, deserving of the spotlight. We’ve already seen them come together for a delectable pudding and we’re starting to think these two are suited for a long-term, possibly exclusive, relationship.

Do you know what this means? In less than 15 minutes, this recipe makes it possible to fully enjoy some dark, rich cacao along with some creamy, (healthy) fatty avocado in a fudgy cookie form. It doesn’t even have flour!

“Incroyable!” say the French readers. “Ausgezeichnet!” say the Germans. And you? Well, you may have your mouth too full of cookies to exclaim anything. That’s okay, we can all envision the look of bliss crossing your face.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Prep time: < 5 minutes
Baking time: about 8-10 minutes
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dark cacao or cocoa powder (we used Nativas Naturals cacao powder)
  • 2/3 cup ripened avocado flesh, mashed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut sugar, depending on your desired sweetness
  • 2/3 of bar dark chocolate, cut into small chunks (we used a chocolate bar with 88% cocoa content)
  • 1 egg (or 1 tbsp ground flaxseed and 2.5 tbsp water mixed together as vegan egg-less option)
  • ½ tsp. baking soda

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°. With a hand mixer/food processor/vivacious Vitamix blend avocado and coconut sugar, then egg. Add cacao powder and baking soda to mix and then stir in dark chocolate chunks. Try not to salivate over the bowl. Use coconut oil to grease baking pan; dollop cookie dough mix on pan and flatten with spoon. Bake for 8-10 minutes and then cool them down; unlike most cookies, these taste better after 30 minutes or so in the fridge. Makes 10-12 cookies.

P.S. Not gonna lie, we made these babies into ice cream (dairy-free) sandwiches. More on that later 🙂