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Simple and Tasty! 10 ideas for your Healthy Memorial Day Menu

Hey, Healthy Mama! Whether you are hosting your own shindig or contributing to another one, the Healthy Family, Healthy You blog has all the healthy Memorial Day ideas you need.

Many of these can be used in a couple of different categories, so see where I’ve noted this. Also, many of these recipes are from The Healthy Family, Healthy You Cookbook. What? You don’t have the cookbook? Or The Healthy Mama’s Guide to feeding your family well – simply and sanely? Well, let’s just fix that right quick! Click on the titles to purchase. :)-

Appetizers

Rainbow fruit skewers. I have this listed as a dessert option below, but it is actually better for your digestion to eat fruit BEFORE anything else. Fruit is metabolized much faster than protein and grains (and even vegetables). Therefore, if you eat fruit AFTER your veggie or meat burgers, the fruit will not be able to get through your system as fast as it needs to, causing gas and bloating. Experiment with this and see how you feel. If you let the kids put these together when the party starts, they can busy themselves eating the fruit, instead of potato chips. The key is to keep the chips away until they’ve eaten their fruit so they don’t keep taking handful after handful of chips. This is a good idea for grown-ups too!

Rainbow fruit and veggie platters
My Healthy Mamas know all about my veggie platters! See below for the ones I made for Purim.

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See below for the platter I made for a recent Fruit Funshop at a local preschool. (Do your kids need to have fun with food at camp or preschool? See my workshop page and email me at natasha@healthyfamilyhealthyyou.com for more info!). We also made “lollipops.”

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There are so many ways to display fruits and veggies and provide fun food for your guests (or your host) with very little work. The best way is to let the colorful veggies make the fun for you! See below for a few ideas, including my famous baby cucumber pops. And yes, I know I’m obsessed with rainbows and rainbow food (all naturally colored of course!).

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MAIN DISHES

Collard Veggie Wraps

TASHA’S TIPS: Have large collard leaves available for your Paleo guests who might be eating hamburgers or grilled chicken breast (you know, if you’re into that kind of thing… :)- ) but don’t eat buns… or use them as a healthy (and gluten-free) alternative to a wheat flour based wrap for your veggie option. You can also make smaller wraps as finger food appetizers – or a side veggie.

Stuff your collard leaves with veggies, such as roasted red peppers, sauteed mushrooms, sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, shredded carrots. Top veggies with vegan mayo, mashed avocado or hummus.

10 Tempting Meal Prep Lunches to Take to Work

Click on the picture for 10 Tempting Meal Prep Lunches to Take to Work from Beachbody.com

TASHA’S TIPS: You have a few healthy options to go along with my recipe for Portabella burgers. You can provide collard leaves (as above) for those who don’t want a bun around their mushroom “burgers.” OR….. (I’m about to blow your mind….) The Portabellas can be used as the “burger” or the bun! Here’s how all of this might look:

  • A hamburger or veggie burger with all the fixins’ inside a collard green wrap.
  • A hamburger or veggie burger where a large mushroom cap acts as the bun – just a bottom bun for an open-faced option, or both top and bottom.
  • Mushroom caps as top and bottom bun with all the fixins’, such as sliced tomato, cucumber, sprouts, spinach, avocado and hummus as the “meat” of the sandwich.
  • The mushroom can be your “burger.” See recipe below.

Portabella Mushroom “Bacon Burgers”
Serves 4

4 Portabella mushroom caps, cooked
4 whole grain hamburger buns (try Ezekiel or other sprouted buns for a new healthy option), toasted
1 tomato, sliced
4 Romaine lettuce leaves
1 package bacon tempeh
1 avocado, sliced
Sauce options: Vegan Mayo, Mustard, Hummus

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. Cook mushrooms according to directions on previous page. Warm tempeh bacon according to directions on package.

Place each mushroom on a bun with tempeh bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado slice and sauce of your choice: vegan mayo, mustard, or hummus, if desired.

juicy-burger-i-1540447-639x472

 

SIDE DISHES

The veggie wraps above, and/or:

Rainbow veggie skewers

Let the kids put these together. They’ll be very proud of their accomplishment and contribution to the meal/party. It will also keep them busy!

Rainbow Veggie Skewers Recipe | BeachbodyBlog.com

Mom’s Tuna Pasta Salad – Veganized
Serves 6

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Nothing reminds my sister and me of summer like our mom’s tuna pasta salad. And then I remember the guilt. The pasta. The mayo. My mom always puts twice as much mayo as I would into anything and everything that mayo could go into. However, most of the time, I have to admit that it does taste better that way!

Nevertheless, we have our health to think of, so I came up with this alternative. The good news is that since I’ve started to eat a plant-based diet I’m not so afraid of pasta. The same can happen for you!

1 16-ounce box medium sized whole grain shell or elbow shaped pasta (Brown rice pasta works very well)
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped yellow pepper
2 Tablespoons chopped shallot (leave out if your kids don’t like onions)
⅔ cup Nayonaise light vegan mayo (or any low fat vegan mayo)
1 29-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, then mashed lightly with a fork
Salt and pepper

Cook pasta as directed. Rinse it with cold water and let it cool to room temp in a large bowl. Combine all vegetables, Nayonaise, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add the mix to the larger bowl with the pasta and stir well. Cover and place in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld together for at least an hour.

SALADS

Ginger Corn Salad
Serves 6-8

This simple salad is a no-brainer when you are having company or want to bring a vegetarian dish to a potluck dinner.

3 cups canned, frozen, or fresh cooked corn (off the cob)
1 to 2 Tablespoons (to taste) dehydrated or fresh red onion
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup shelled edamame (fresh, steamed or microwaved from frozen)
Approximately ½ cup “Newman’s Own” bottled sesame ginger salad dressing (or similar)

Mix all ingredients and serve.

OR

Summer Corn Salad

Summer Corn and Tomato Salad

Serves 4-6

A great way to use up summer bounty or inject summer into your winter!

3 cups corn (defrosted frozen, cooked and cut off the stalk; or raw if that’s  what you like!)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Half a large or 1 small avocado, diced
Juice of half to 1 lemon, to taste
Himalayan pink salt

Mix corn, tomatoes and avocado in a mixing bowl. Add lemon juice and season with salt to taste. Mix gently. Transfer to serving dish if you like.

Refreshing fruit ideas for DESSERT

My Mother’s Day blog idea for using melons, pineapple or watermelon as your fruit salad vessels.

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and/or

Rainbow fruit skewers. Let the kids make their own. Keep them busy with healthy activities when they’re on shpilkes and don’t want to sit at the table any longer, but you don’t want to get up to watch them outside of your eating area.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend – and don’t forgot that it is about those who serve our country, not just BBQ.

 

Your Simple, Healthy Mother’s Day Menu-Done and Delivered!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sometimes it seems a little crazy (and unfair) that, as a grown-up, we often make our own birthday cake and Mother’s Day Brunch.

Well…Get happy! For this year anyway, I’ve done the work for you. Here’s your simple, healthy Mother’s Day Menu for this coming Sunday.

First…Here is my almost zero work plan…you know, the one I rarely stick to!

The no work brunch means I buy bagels, cream cheese, and lox (I know I don’t eat this, but everyone else does) set them out with sliced tomato, cucumber and red onion.  Add coffee and juice and you’re done.

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However, in my opinion, spring calls for crisp, fresh food, not just baked white carbs (e.g. bagels and coffee cake).

Here are five simple, fun and healthy ideas for your Mother’s Day Brunch:

  1. Individual fruit salad appetizers. Halve your cantaloupes (Use 1 for every 2 guests. ). Discard seeds. Scoop out flesh with a melon baller or use a knife to cut out the cantaloupe and cube it.

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Mix the cantaloupe with other sliced fruit, such as fresh strawberries, pineapple, honeydew or green grapes. Bonus points: You can also scoop out pineapple and honeydew so that not everyone has the same fruit vessel for their fruit salad. You will have a beautiful tablescape, each place set with a pineapple, honeydew or cantaloupe bowl of fruit salad.

  1. Lay out a plate of cucumber kabobs or lollipops for kids. Use small kabob sticks or lollipop sticks (found at party stores).

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3. Use rainbow carrots in a vase as your centerpiece, or trim and peel them for the kids to munch while they wait. Tasha’s Tip: Remember, just put them on the table and WALK AWAY. Keep your mouth shut and they’ll probably try them!

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You can also use colored cauliflower the same way.

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4.Place as much fun stuff on the table as possible. Don’t take yourself or your entertaining on a day like this too seriously. See what I found in my cabinet.

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5. To serve something warm, try tofu French toast. I like this recipe.

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Last year I made this Spanish frittata (also in The Healthy Family Healthy You Cookbook), made with tofu instead of eggs.

spanish frittata

This year I’ll be trying a chickpea frittata for the first time. This recipe looks good.  It calls for asparagus, which I am randomly allergic to, so I will use a substitute; perhaps red pepper. Like any frittata, you can mix and match the veggies to your liking and also use up any leftover roasted or fresh veggies you have handy.

roasted vegetables

This link to my 2016 Mother’s Day post includes ideas, such as rainbow fruit kabobs (see above pic); and several recipes from my cookbook, including 20 minute tofu scramble, avocado toast, and healthy fruit crisp.

Tofu Scramble

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day! Let me know what you’re cooking over on my Facebook page.

 

 

Mega Pesach Post/Anytime Spa Menu!

Even if you don’t celebrate Passover, these recipes are light and delicious.

Your Healthy Pesach Toolkit is here!

  1. Nice thoughts for a great week and previous Passover posts with tons of healthy recipes and tips! (from last week)
    and below…tools 2-4
  2. Your Spa-like Passover Menu – 2 new HFHY veggie recipes – and my favorite healthy Passover recipes from around the web
  3. A Super Duper Helpful Vegan Passover Cookbook
  4. Spiralizer recipes and ideas. Free e-cookbook.

 


TOOL #2 PESACH SPA MENU

Because you deserve a healthy week!

I made this for Shabbat a few weeks ago, without the greens, as it reminded me of a salad I’ve bought before at the deli. I didn’t have time to go there so I made it up myself. I then made it with the greens for my cousin’s bridal shower. There were about two bites left from the gigantic bowl.

The Caterer’s Salad
Serves: 15-20 (to lower the servings, simply lower the amount of greens you use)

cherry-tomatoes-1317889-639x958 artichoke-1057520 salad

Ingredients

1 very large box mixed baby spinach and spring mix salad (or other greens if you prefer)
1 can sliced hearts of palm (Depending on the size of the slices, you may want to slice the slices in half).
1 can quartered artichoke hearts
1 can sliced black olives
1 or 2 pints cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 bottle Italian dressing (As natural as possible! I’m not recommending a specific brand here because what you can use will depend on whether you’re making this salad for Passover or during the rest of the year. I recently used Brianna (newly hechshered!) French Vinaigrette and it was amazing. However, that won’t work for Passover. I may just make my own.)

Directions

Place the greens on the bottom of a large salad bowl. Place the rest of the ingredients on the top of the greens. Pour on some dressing (Start with half a cup? I didn’t measure. You should be able to eyeball this.) and toss gently. Add more dressing and mix again if needed. Remember, you can always add, but you can’t take away.

NEXT…

Easiest. Side. Dish. Ever. Only 3 ingredients.

Baby Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins

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How much spinach and other ingredients you use will depend on how many people you are feeding. Just remember that spinach cooks down A LOT.

Serves: as many as you need/just increase ingredients…

Ingredients

Fresh baby spinach
Pine nuts (Start with a handful and then go up to ¼ cup, depending on how much spinach you are using)
Golden raisins (Start with a handful and then go up to ¼ cup, depending on how much spinach you are using).

Directions

Dry toast the pine nuts in a non-stick pan until fragrant but barely browned, stirring often.

Cook spinach on the stove in your largest sauté pan, with 1 Tablespoon of water. Depending on how much you are making, you may have to do this in batches, taking out the cooked spinach and placing it in your serving bowl or storage container, as you go. Just fill up the pan with spinach to start. Simply place the top on your pan and let it steam for a few minutes, then stir.

Be sure to stir every few minutes so that all of the spinach is cooked, not just what’s on the bottom. I like to use a large sauté pan I have with a clear top. Then I know exactly what’s going on in there and when I need to stir. After each batch is done, take it out and start with a new batch of raw spinach and new tablespoon of water.

NEXT…


Other tasty recipes from around the web…

Orange Pistachio Quinoa Ever since I found this for last Passover, I have been making this Quinoa as much as I can get away with it, without my guests and family getting sick of it.

Raw mock tuna  from Jennifer Cornbleet. For kitniyot purposes, I’m going to substitute cashews for the sunflower seeds.

Chocolate truffle pie from Mayim Bialik. This is seriously crack! Make at your own peril!

NEXT…


TOOL #3 A Super Duper Helpful Vegan Passover Cookbook

My huge discovery last year: I wasn’t the only one trying to be vegan on Passover. Even better, this fabulous gal, Rena Reich, of www.veganstart.com, wrote a cookbook for it! (For a quick kitniyot meal this week, see my guest post on her blog, 10 minute Taco Bar.)

Vegan Start Passover Cookbook: Eat Well on Pesach!

I have the Kindle edition, which was the only one offered last year. This year, both are updated and there is also a print option. These are also super handy if you are NOT vegan, but are allergic to eggs.


As Mara from www.KosherOnABudget.com always writes, Amazon pricing can change on a dime, so please confirm prices before you check-out. I got mine for a great price, but check the widget (picture) for the current price. Also, if you have an Ad Blocker installed on your web browser, you will need to pause it in order to see the widgets.

My favorite recipes include:

  1. Potato Kugel (I had to stop making this all-year-round. It was too good and I was eating too much!)
  2. Carrot Kugel
  3. Matzo Meal Pancakes

AND FINALLY…


 Spiralizer recipes and ideas. Free e-cookbook.Spiralizing for Passover

I ordered THIS spiralizer and got 3 FREE e-cookbooks (sent to me over the course of a few days) to go with it. For my purposes, only the first one was helpful, but if you are NOT vegan and you ARE into Paleo, you’ll also love the other two. In the first spiralizer e-cookbook, a large number of the veggie-centric recipes can be used for Pesach, although of course a number of them do contain kitniyot as it isn’t a kosher for Passover, or even kosher, cookbook. However, most recipes involve veggies that will work for Pesach.

Quick idea from the book: Cucumber noodles, lemon juice and zest with cumin and sea salt to taste

Quick idea from me: Spiralized carrot noodles with golden raisins and cinnamon, fresh-squeezed juice of 1 orange

As Mara from www.KosherOnABudget.com always writes, Amazon pricing can change on a dime, so please confirm prices before you check-out. I got mine for a great price, but check the widget (picture) for the current price. Also, if you have an Ad Blocker installed on your web browser, you will need to pause it in order to see the widgets.

Chag Sameach!  You can look forward to my Mother’s Day Menu right after Pesach ends. Hope to “see” you one more time before or during Passover.

In the meantime, if you have questions or suggestions, or just something fun to share, meet me over on my Facebook page!