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Baby Kale Health

Rainbow Week 2017

rainbowveggiewrap


My Daughters’ school just finished Rainbow Week. As part of the Health and Wellness committee at their school, I was highly involved in all of the events.

We sent home a nutrition and health bingo card with different activities for the kids to do, including try a yellow vegetable, crab walk for 5 minutes and relax or do yoga for 10 minutes. We also provided fruit infused water during their lunch periods, and they received a rainbow stamp if they brought fresh fruits or veggies to school. We sent home a Rainbow Challenge worksheet, which gave each member of the family space to keep track of the number and colors of the fruits and veggies they ate. It was a fun week, and I received great feedback from both students and parents.

In honor of Rainbow Week, my kids cooking class made Rainbow Veggie pinwheels. So simple and so fun for the kids, but still super awesome for adults!

I brought cream cheese and hummus to use as “glue”, asparagus, purple cabbage, shredded carrots, micro greens (which they were all super curious about!), multiple colors of peppers, grape tomatoes, spinach and basil. While the class started out not-so-excited about veggies, they were all super jazzed by the time they left. I LOVE classes like that! They made such beautiful creations – “for their parents” – and then ended up eating it themselves!! (In my class, my students do NOT have to try anything they don’t want to, which takes so much pressure off of them!)

Ever since class last week, I’ve been craving and obsessed with veggie wraps. I thought it might be a great thing to share with you…to help you switch up the norm lunch salad or sandwich, OR to give you some inspiration for lunchboxes!

Here’s some ideas for your Rainbow Veggie Pinwheels:

- Use ricotta, cream cheese or nut butter and fruit instead of veggies

- Sprinkle fruit with cinnamon

- Use ricotta cheese or goat cheese

- Use all sorts of seeds or sliced nuts

- Cut the finished wrap in half or cut them into thinner pinwheels

- Use different types of wraps: corn tortillas, gluten free, spinach, tomato basil, etc.

- Instead of hummus or cream cheese, use smashed up beans like white, pinto, or black

- Use nori wraps, rice paper or collard greens instead of tortillas

There are all sorts of variations that you could do, just make sure to get those fresh, vibrant colors in their first!




Baby Kale Health

Trail Mix Treasures

trail mix


It’s such a simple well-known snack that sometimes it gets overlooked, but trail mix truly is the perfect snack for anytime!

Recently, I realized that my family and I were reaching for the pre-packaged snacks more than I feel comfortable with. Yes, it’s easy. And, yes, I try to pick items that are healthful with few ingredients, but I can’t help but KNOW how much better homemade snacks are! Sooooo, I decided to start making different trail mixes every week for snacks. (I think traditional trail mix is how I ended up stepping away from it as a snack – I got bored, and didn’t really think to switch it up!)

Last week, I was inspired by some dried apples that I bought at Natural grocers. They were full rings, but I wanted to stretch them and make them last longer, so I cut them smaller. I threw in some almonds, craisins and a small portion of white chocolate chips. My girls were psyched about it so much that the trail mix was their number one request every day!

This week a container of dried pineapple caught my eye. I toasted some cashews to make them crunchier, added in some flaked coconut, a few craisins (really, just for color because it all looked so pale!) and then some dark chocolate chips.

Why is trail mix the perfect snack?

Protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. The nuts fill you up and keep you full, and the dried fruit gives you quick energy for exercise. The sweet and salty combo satisfies any craving you might have!

Since I decided to try this, I’ve been scoping out and brainstorming some new possibilities to add in to the mix. Here’s a few ideas I have for future trail mixes:

· Yogurt covered raisins

· Yogurt covered almonds

· Chocolate covered nuts

· Dried papaya

· Curry cashews

· Maple walnuts

· Maple walnuts with sesame seeds

· Tamari almonds

· Sundried tomatoes (I know, but I’m going to try it!)

· Yogurt covered pretzels (broken into smaller pieces)

· Popcorn

· Cereal

· Freeze dried fruit

· All kinds of seeds

· Peanut butter chips

I’m trying to stick with whole foods and minimal effort on this commitment. Hopefully I can make a new bucket of trail mix happen every week. Follow me on Instagram (Babykalehealth) to track my #trailmixtreasures. Wish me luck!

Baby Kale Health

Turmeric, the Queen of Spices

turmeric

Maybe you know, or maybe you don’t know that I’ve been making food for the Taspen’s Organics 1st Saturday Wellness Fairs for about 3 years now. This past Saturday was the last fair in their original space before they move to a new space…a new beginning. It was important to me to make something special to show my gratitude.

However, last Thursday, I started feeling a little sick. This became the inspiration for my wellness fair menu. After much thought, I decided it was exactly perfect for the wellness fair because wellness has to do with taking special care of yourself, especially when you’re under the weather! I wanted to make gentle but vibrant food that would nourish others that might be feeling sick. ‘Tis the season.

Turmeric came to mind, so I started researching some recipes. I found a Detox broth that became the base for a quinoa stew that I made for the fair. It was so comforting…and gentle. With tons of garlic, turmeric and ginger, I felt like I got healthier with each spoonful!

Turmeric, or the Queen of Spices, is an amazing spice used around the World not only to season food, but also to heal a number of different illnesses and diseases. Turmeric is an:

          · Anti-inflammatory

          · Antiseptic

          · Antibiotic

          · Antiviral

          · Antioxidant

          · Antifungal

In addition, the spice contains protein, fiber, Vitamin C, E, & K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, and zinc. It’s no wonder that Turmeric:

· Prevents Cancer

· Relieves Arthritis

· Controls Diabetes

· Boosts your Immunity

· Reduces Cholesterol

· Manages Weight

· Heals wounds

· Prevents Alzheimer’s

· Prevents Liver Disease

· Improves digestion

Turmeric is an absolute powerhouse!

The wellness fairs have been so great for me. Not only for promoting my business, but also for pushing me to explore my creativity and knowledge! Through the years, I have met so many people, each on their own journey, and each of whom inspired me on my own journey. I have loved those wellness fairs, and I look forward to our new beginnings!

Turmeric Detox Broth

From www.feastingathome.com

1-2 tablespoons oil

1 onion- diced

1- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated or finely minced

4-5 garlic cloves- grated or finely minced

2 teaspoon turmeric powder (or 3 teaspoons fresh turmeric, finely grated - see notes)

¼ teaspoon mustard seed (optional)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

¾ - 1 teaspoon salt

4 cups water

4 cups veggie or chicken stock

⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste

1-3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar - or lime or lemon juice ( to taste)

Instructions

In a large heavy bottom pot or dutch oven, saute onion in 1-2 T olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

Add ginger. Lower heat to medium low and saute 5 minutes until it begins to brown, stirring often.

Add garlic, saute 2 minutes. Add all the spices and cook 1 more minute.

Add water, stock and salt.

Bring to a simmer.

Add vinegar or citrus.

At this point, you have a broth that can be used as the base for any soup that you make. You can add quinoa, noodles, rice, veggies, chicken or seafood, or tofu. Get creative with this healthful foundation. Freeze the extra to have on hand for future soups!


Baby Kale Health

Chicken Enchiladas Make the Cut!

chicken enchiladas

I love it when I cook things that BOTH my girls really like – so much so that they actually say something about it. The real kicker, I mean, when I REALLY know that I nailed something is if it’s “lunchbox worthy”! It happened…just last night, so I wanted to share.

Drumroll please…Presenting….Chicken Enchiladas.

Now, this is not the first time I’ve made this. And, believe me, the other times didn’t get great reviews. However, this should be a testament to all of you that you just have to keep trying things over and over. Don’t give in to the mac ‘n cheese ridiculousness.  Our kids (and ADULTS) need real, homemade food, and they need to see it on a regular basis in their own homes! (ok, stepping off the soapbox.)

So, back to the chicken enchiladas.

I threw some chicken in the crockpot yesterday morning with just some water, garlic cloves and salt and pepper. I had extra rice in the fridge from a previous meal, so that was already done. All I had to do was make the sauce, shred cheese (which my little one did for me while her sister finished her homework) and assemble.

My sauce is nowhere near a traditional sauce, but it works for me and my family. If it were up to me this sauce would be a lot spicier! I put 2 cans of tomato sauce in a saucepan. I add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and a little oregano. That’s it!

To assemble the enchiladas, I mix some shredded chicken with rice and a little bit of the sauce. Grease the baking dish. I warm up the corn tortillas in foil in the oven. Then, I scoop some of the chicken and rice mix in the tortilla, roll it, and place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until the dish is jam-packed. Then, spoon the sauce over the tortillas. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake at 400 until cheese melts and then switch to broil to get that awesome bubbly browned cheese!

Last night, I served it with some frozen pineapple and blueberries that I had on hand!

 

Enchilada Sauce

2 cans tomato sauce (Bonus: I had about a pint leftover to freeze for the next time I make enchiladas!)

2 Tbsp. chili powder

2 Tbsp. cumin

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

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