Recipe: Massaged Kale Salad with Apples and Carrots

Kale can be a scary vegetable for a lot of people. It’s quite tough and bitter, which aren’t exactly crowd-pleasing traits. However, as massaged kale salads have become trendy in the past couple years, many have realized that this little step of rubbing the kale down can make a big difference in both the texture and flavor departments. Now, kale is never going to be like a spring green, because it isn’t! Rather, it’s hearty and much more substantial, which is exactly what we need this time of year. As a bonus, this salad holds up well in the fridge, unlike more delicate greens. At our house, we’ve been doing a lot of kale salads, so I thought I would share a recent creation with you. Strangely enough, Lisa Leake over at 100 Days of Real Food recently put up a similar recipe , so, if you want a slight variation on the same idea, be sure to check out her recipe for Kale and Apple Salad as well.

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Eating Organic On A Budget

moneypileIt’s a common complaint that eating healthy and organic foods is more expensive than eating junk. While this can be true if you buy a lot of specialty or processed products, it can also be affordable to eat well if you know how to do it. With that said, I don’t know why it is virtuous in our culture to spend as little on food as possible (see Extreme Couponers). Obviously if you aren’t bringing in enough money to feed yourself this should be a concern, but even those who are well off get sucked into this mentality. Spending as little as possible on food and dropping thousands on a designer handbag are both admirable. What?

I recently had a request from a reader to write a post with tips for those who want to eat organic, but aren’t independently wealthy. I’m here to tell you that you can eat delicious, healthy food on a budget, if you put in the effort. It’s all about doing what you can, prioritizing your food dollars, and giving yourself a break some times. Jasen and I definitely don’t spend unlimited amounts of money on our food, but we’re still able to eat well. Continue reading

What We Ate: 08.22.13

I must admit, I was blanking a bit on what to write about for today’s post. What I had planned just didn’t seem that good anymore and nothing else came to mind. I really wanted to try to to get this written before dinner came out of the oven to avoid the late night or early morning writing that sometimes happens. Jasen and I bounced ideas back and forth for a while and then it hit me. I could write about dinner! Also, I think posting about our meals could be a fun thing to do every so often, just to show y’all what real life eating looks like for us. Now, let’s get on to the food!

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Recipe: Layered Melon Popsicles

Since I purchased the popsicle mold I mentioned here, I’ve been enjoying my healthy frozen treats often, as a snack or after-dinner dessert. This recipe uses one of my favorite fruits, the watermelon. I can eat and eat and never get tired of it. In college, my roommate once said “You know you live with a dietetics major when you find watermelon seeds in the couch cushions.” It’s just soooo gooood! In addition to highlighting this beloved food, I’ll teach you how to make layered popsicles. They look super fancy and really aren’t all that difficult to make. It takes a little more time and patience, but you’re already in for some waiting if you’re making popsicles anyways. Mine ended up a little uneven on this batch, but I like to just call that “rustic.” The amounts in this recipe are specific to my mold, but you can easily adapt it to whatever mold you have, even if that’s just an ice cube tray. Pop1
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Fruit, A Salad’s Best Friend

I love a good salad. Nothing feels better than filling up on a bowl full of different vegetables. However, we all know that not all salads are created equal. Loading up with heavy dressings, croutons, fried items, and other caloric fare can take your salad from virtuous to villainous. For the non-veggie lovers out there, this can be a real problem, making a healthy salad practically unbearable. If you find yourself falling into the salad-hating category, or you just want to take your regular salad to the next level, adding fruit can really make a difference. Some of you may feel a little leery about mixing the sweet with the savory, but I’m here to tell you that it is a killer combination. The sweetness compliments and contrasts with the other flavors and the acid found in many fruits can help balance the fat from the olive oil in your dressing or the avocado you slice on top. Whatever fruit you have on hand is fair game. Strawberries, peaches, apples, nectarines, cherries, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all great options (but not all at once). Basically if you like it, toss it in there. Whole fruit is going to be your best option over dried because you’ll be getting the water that comes with whole fruit and you also won’t have to worry about the extra sugar that is often added to dried fruits, particularly cranberries. So next time you make a salad, get a little crazy and throw in some chopped apple or fresh berries. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.

What is your favorite fruit to put in your salad? Let me know in the comments below. : )

Autumn Harvest Slow-Cooker Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfast options around due to it’s whole grain status and fiber content. However, this nutrition superstar can quickly loose its sparkle when its loaded up with lots of sugar (even the brown variety) and tons of butter, or, even worse, processed to cook in a few minutes and flavored with chemicals. Delicious.

Many people shy away from steel cut oats because of the long cooking time (30-40 minutes), but I have a solution to this problem that might surprise you: a slow-cooker. Suddenly, a dish that many consider to be a hassle becomes a set-it-and-forget-it convenience food that leaves your house smelling amazing when you wake up in the morning.

Warm oatmeal. Needless to say, I devoured it.

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