Saturday, April 27, 2013

Recipe Round-up (Meijer Ad 4/28/13 - 5/4/13)

Woo hoo!  Finally doing a Recipe Round-up again!  It's the "cheater" kind with no sale ingredient list...but just trust me, there are enough ingredients on sale to make it worth considering for your meal plan next week :)  Take special note of all the Mexican dishes that you can make with the Cinco de Mayo sale ingredients.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix

We've already found a good substitute for the guacamole seasoning packet.  Are you ready to ditch another packet?  Let's replace that packet of dry Ranch dressing!  I even did all the hard work for you and tried lots of different spice mixes.  This one is it.  I promise.  It's the best one I've found.  It tastes very similar to what you get out of a Hidden Valley packet (or a Meijer brand one, for that matter).  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Healthy Fats and Oils, Part Two

The following is the second part of a guest article written by Sarah Kamps.  This article is published in conjunction with April's theme, Spring Clean Your Eating Habits.

We've already pointed out that conventional fats and oils can be harmful to your health, simply by asking some basic questions.  We also listed off some healthier options, such as coconut oil and olive oil.  Let's examine those healthier options more closely by putting them to the same test:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Healthy Fats and Oils, Part One

The following post is a guest article written by my friend, Sarah Kamps.  She and I have had many conversations recently about improving our families' diets.  Healthy fats/oils is a topic that I don't know much about (yet!), but it's a topic on which Sarah has done a LOT of research.  Read on to discover what she's learned...and what she's teaching me!

Coconut oil has been making headlines lately.  It is creating a buzz in the health food world because of its many health benefits, such as:
  • maintaining cholesterol levels
  • improving weight loss
  • increasing immunity
  • dental and skin care

Thursday, April 18, 2013

All About CSAs, Part Two

I've already talked about why we love our CSA.  But I'm adding a "BUT" here.  I can't really say these are "negatives" or "cons", but just a word of caution.

**To find a CSA near you, check out Local Harvest's website, where you can search by zipcode or city and state!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

All About CSAs, Part One

I've talked about CSAs a few times on this blog, but usually just in passing.  Spring Clean Your Eating Habits is a good time to explain the concept more in depth...because joining a CSA definitely helped us eat more healthfully!  I'll give you the facts, and then share my experience and opinions.  

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Perfect Guacamole

(This recipe is posted in conjunction with April's theme, Spring Clean Your Eating Habits.  It's also posted in conjunction with the 4/14/13 Meijer ad, where you can find avocados on sale!)

My family eats a LOT of guacamole.  Everyone loves it, even the 3-year-old.  Case in point:  tonight, she didn't want to eat her rice, but when I suggested that she mix some "guac" into her rice, she was all over that...and the rice was gone in two minutes.  I used to make guacamole by smashing up two avocados with a packet of guacamole spice mix.  (And admittedly, sometimes I still do.)  And we loved it.  But since we're trying to consume less processed foods, I figured I could do better.  Because that spice packet doesn't just have spices in also has "corn maltodextrin" and "corn syrup solids".  Sigh.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cookies For Breakfast, Part Two

We've already talked about how cookies can be part of a healthy breakfast (insert smirk).  My family really enjoys these cookies, but I had seen another version of the breakfast cookie on Pinterest, so I wanted to try this one as well.  

This cookie recipe definitely has more than 2 ingredients, so it takes a little longer to mix up.  But it does include protein, which adds to the health benefits of, well, eating cookies for breakfast.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cookies for Breakfast, Part One

Yes, really.  And even as part of a healthy breakfast!  But I'm not talking about Cookie Crisp here.

We recently tried two versions of these, both of which I had seen on (you guessed it) Pinterest.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What's The Deal With Greek Yogurt?

(This article is part of Cooking Up a Sale's April series, Spring Clean Your Eating Habits.  If you'd like to read more on this topic, you can click over to the Monthly Themes page to find the rest of the articles in this series.)

We eat a lot of yogurt around here.  More recently, we've been eating more Greek yogurt.  (Chobani, Oikos, and store brand...we're not picky!)  We don't eat the Greek stuff exclusively, but we have included more of it in our diet.  Depending on your definition of "healthy", it's considered better for you than regular yogurt.  (Check out this article for more information on how it stacks up against the regular stuff.)  Basically, it's thicker, and has more protein than regular yogurt, which helps keep you full and satisfied longer.  

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Light(er) Apple Dip

(This recipe is posted as part of Cooking Up a Sale's April series, Spring Clean Your Eating Habits.  If you'd like to read more on this topic, you can click over to the Monthly Themes page to find the rest of the articles in this series.)

I have never been a big fan of apples and peanut butter, but I really enjoy this apple dip...and so do the kids!  It's super tasty and creamy, and can be stirred up in less than a minute.  Greek yogurt is the base of this dip, so it's lighter than other fruit dips I've made before that use cream cheese and/or Cool Whip.  It's so yummy, you might want to just forget the apples and grab a spoon!  But then again, that would kind of defeat the purpose of a healthy snack, wouldn't it?

Friday, April 5, 2013

11 Ways to Help Your Kids Enjoy Fruit and Vegetables

(This post is part of the April series, Spring Clean Your Eating Habits.  You can catch up on the previous articles in this series here.)

So, your kids don't want to eat more fruits and vegetables?  Our kids didn't always want to either.  Here are a few things that have worked to remedy that situation:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Genius Corn

If given a choice, my family prefers corn on the cob over frozen corn (who doesn't, right?).  But there's not much we can do about that this time of year, short of buying some tasteless, expensive, out-of-season ears from the grocery store.  Enter "broiled corn".  Huh?  Yes, that's right.  Cooking frozen corn this way is about as close as you can get to that crisp, sweet, middle-of-the-summer taste.  In my quest to include more vegetables in our diet, I'm always looking for something quick and easy.  This "recipe" definitely fits the bill.  In less than 10 minutes, you'll have perfectly cooked and seasoned corn.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

6 Ways to Include More Produce in Your Diet

(This article is part of a series, Spring Clean Your Eating Habits.  You can catch up on previous articles in this series here.)

I'm going to be honest...when I think "snack", I think of a cookie or some chips.  It's just not natural for me to reach for an apple.  It's not that I don't like just takes more thought to reach for the good stuff instead of the junk.  For that reason, I've had to make a conscious effort to include more fruits and vegetables in my family's diet.  We've always eaten some, but just not enough.  Here's what's worked for us:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Guidelines and A Balancing Act

(This post is part of a series.  Head over here to catch up on any articles you may have missed!)

As our eating habits change, I realize that we've established some loose guidelines to govern what we eat.  These might be too strict for your family, or not strict enough.  But for what it's worth, here they are: