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5 Easy Weeknight Meals: Your 7 Day Family Jump Start!

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2 HFHY Cookbook Recipes in The Town Courier

I’m a little late in sharing this with you, dear readers, but see below for two recipes from – and a review of  – The Healthy Family, Healthy You Cookbook: The Healthy Mama’s Guide to simple, healthy versions of your family’s favorite foods (Volume 2). Do you have your copy yet? What?! You don’t want over 100 easy and healthful recipes for your family – including super easy and impressive recipes for a crowd or company?

Click here to view the article on The Town Courier website.

Let’s All Eat Healthfully

Photo | Submitted

Photo | Submitted

Lately, more and more articles and books are focusing on healthy recipes and better eating for children and families.  “Healthy Family, Healthy You; The Healthy Mama’s Guide to feeding your family well—simply and sanely” by Natasha Nadel (www.healthyfamilyhealthyyou.com) is a new book that deals with the topic.

Natasha believes we all have a responsibility to feed one another deliciously, but healthfully, rather than stuff one another full of non-nutritive foods so we can feel we were a good host.

Her new book provides healthful recipes for everyday weeknight meals and secular and Jewish holidays around the year, along with tips and tricks for creating a healthy family.  Her motto is “Substitution is your strategy.”

Natasha is an author and freelance writer specializing in sustainable food, the environment, and community trends.  Natasha gives workshops to schools, camps, and local organizations.

Gluten-Free Super Simple Appetizer

Makes 12 servings of 5 crackers each

Having a crowd and don’t want to leave out your gluten-free friends? Here is the answer! Easy, fancy and delicious, this appetizer is fun to make with the kids and can be adjusted as needed. For instance, my tester used different gluten-free crackers, and when she couldn’t find the right sea salt shaker in her small town health food store, she combined plain sea salt with a dulse (a type of seaweed) shaker.

1 box “Mary’s Gone Crackers” (original or cracked black pepper) or other gluten-free crackers

2 avocados

2 pints cherry tomatoes

1 lemon

“Sea Seasonings” brand sea salt and sea veggies shaker (or plain sea salt and black pepper)

Spread the crackers out on a tray or serving platter. In a small bowl, mash the avocados using a fork. Top each cracker with approximately 1 teaspoon of mashed avocado. Slice the lemon in quarters and squeeze a couple drops of lemon juice on top of the avocado. Slice the cherry tomatoes into two halves and top each cracker with one half. Sprinkle a pinch of the sea salt mix on top of each cracker so it covers the avocado and the tomato.

Best-Ever Lasagna (Gluten-Free!)

Prep time:  30 minutes

Cook time:  60 minutes

Yield:  6-8 servings

This lasagna has become such a hit with my friends that they (and their children) ask for it when they come for meals. They don’t tell their kids about the tofu or spinach until they are gobbling it up … and they always gobble it up!

From “The Healthy Mama’s Guide,” Meal Makeovers section.

non-stick cooking spray

1 (16-ounce) bag of chopped frozen spinach

1 cup frozen chopped onion

1 (12- or 14-ounce) box frozen butternut squash puree (or BPA-free organic can, such as the Farmer’s Market brand)

1 1 lb. package organic silken tofu

1 (32-ounce) jar pasta sauce (any flavor like garlic or mushroom)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 to 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 package brown rice lasagna noodles (10 ounce) like Tinkyada

1 (24-ounce) jar whole roasted red peppers (about 3 whole peppers), sliced and flattened

1/8 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs (if gluten-free isn’t necessary for you, use whole wheat)

1/8 cup nutritional yeast

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13- x 9-inch lasagna pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Place frozen spinach, onion, and squash into a large glass bowl and defrost in the microwave (I use the “vegetable” setting).

Place tofu into bowl with defrosted vegetables.

Add thyme, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning, and mix thoroughly.

Place one layer of noodles in pan, followed by half of the vegetable and tofu mix. Cover with 1/3 of the bottle of marinara sauce. Spread it thinly and evenly.

Place another layer of noodles in the pan. Cover with the rest of the vegetable tofu mix and another third of the marinara sauce.

Place your final layer of noodles in the pan. Cover with the rest of the marinara sauce and then the roasted red peppers.

Mix the bread crumbs and nutritional yeast together in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the red peppers.

Bake for 1 hour, uncovered.

Editor’s note: For more edible delights by Sheilah Kaufman, go to www. cookingwithsheilah.com.

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.

bagel-with-salmon-1616025-1920x1280

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.

Firefox_Screenshot_2016-05-02T15-23-26.648Z

 

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

roasting-pinenuts-1328556

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!