Busy

01/30/2013

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Life has been so busy as of late! I'm actually getting ready to go to LA in a few days. Hopefully I'll have some good photos to post!!!
 
 
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Ahhh Lasagna.... a well known, classic Italian dish that has become a staple in many American kitchens due to its versatility. It can be served as a simple dinner for a weeknight, be eaten as a snack, or served as the perfect dish for entertainment. Below is a recipe for a healthy, tasty version of this go-to dish.

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups chopped veggies of your choice
  • ½ chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 12 uncooked oven-ready whole grain lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Chop the veggies. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium high heat. Add veggies and saute until tender. Set aside.
  2. Whisk egg into ricotta cheese and stir in fresh spinach.
  3. Pour a little sauce in the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan. Top with 4 lasagna noodles,1/2 cup ricotta mixture, ½ of the veggies, and ¾ cup sauce. Repeat; top entire pan with noodles, remaining sauce, and mozzarella cheese.
  4. Cover and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes more or until cheese is bubbly.
Credit to pinch of yum - check out her lovely blog!



 
 
It's cold outside and reports of the flu season being one of the worst is coming upon us. Yet, there's no reason to fear... adding some of these immunity boosters to your diet will help your body defend against the germs that you'll be coming into contact with at the common areas such as your office, local coffee shop, the mall, etc.

1. Chicken Soup
 
It looks like this is more than just a myth. There is something to having some chicken soup according to one study that compared a hot bowl of chicken soup versus hot or cold water. The chicken soup was better able at making noses run which turns out to be good as secreting fluids from your bose helps with getting rid of pathogenic bacteria and viruses that are in your body. In addition, the chicken soup helps with keeping your body hydrated, another welcome addition for loosening secretions.

2. Yogurt

Yogurt contains probiotics which are labeled 'good bacteria' as they help with better regulating your digestion process and with improving your immune system. You'll want to purchase products  that have labels that read  “Live & Active Cultures” and contain a seal from the National Yogurt
Association. This label represents the fact that the yogurt you are purchasing will contain a set minimum of two particular types of bacteria which are beneficial.

3. Green Tea

Green tea is given it's immune-boosting effects from plant antioxidants called polyphenols. A study was recently released which showed catechins, which is a particular polyphenol, was effective at killing the influenza virus. To maximize the benefits, look for a strong green tea and make sure to steep it in near boiling water for about a minute or two. Feel free to use lemongrass or ginger, both great for boosting the immune system, along with a little honey to add some additional layer of flavor and to reduce bitterness. Make sure that you don't use milk though as the proteins from the milk will bind to the polyphenols, making them ineffective. 



Besides adding these foods to your diet, make sure that you wash your hands regularly, take a good multi-vitamin and get 6 - 8 hours of sleep a day to keep your body at optimal performance to fight off any colds..
 
 
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A few tips for making sure your turkey comes out great!

* Make sure to bring the turkey to room temperature before doing any prep work on it so that when you do put it in the over it can cook evenly.

* You can't add moisture to the turkey... you can only hope to contain it. A great way of doing so is by using oil to cover the turkey. You don't need too much - use a brush to spread the oil around the entire bird.

* I would recommend using some earthy herbs as part of your seasoning for the turkey. A few sprigs of rosemary and thyme will really give a nice, aromatic smell!

* Cook the turkey in the over for about 30 minutes at 500 degrees. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook for the appropriate amount of time. This will allow you to get a nice, crispy skin without drying out the turkey.

* I would advise against cooking your stuffing inside the turkey as this adds to the cooking time and can potentially lead to an overcooked turkey!

Hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving with your family and friends and remember to save the bones from the turkey as it can be used to make some tasty stock!




 
 
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A healthier version of the typical chocolate chip pancake. It's completely dairy and egg free for all you vegans.
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats

  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup vanilla flavored almond milk

  • Chocolate chips
Directions:



  1. Preheat a lightly oiled griddle or pan over medium heat.
  2. In a medium bowl,mix together all the dry ingredients (aside from chocolate cihps) and then gradually add in the almond mix gently mixing together.
  3. Pour batter about 1/4 cup at a time onto your pan or griddle. Put a few chocolate chips into the cooking batter - the more chips the more chocolatey and sweet the pancake. Cook 1 to 2 minutes on one side until you start to see little air bubbles. Flip and continue cooking until done which should be about another minute or so.