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Time to Veg Out

Monday, March 16, 2015

Farm Fresh Veggies

 

I woke up this morning craving fresh tomatoes. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting a homegrown tomato freshly picked off the vine with a dash of salt and pepper then you know exactly why I’m craving tomatoes! It is a little piece of heaven and totally moan-worthy in my book. J That being said it’s time to start working on my garden so I can have tomatoes ready for the summer. And for those of you who don’t have the time or the desire to plant a garden those tomatoes are just a click away. One easy way to get fresh veggies is to sign up for a local community supported agriculture (CSA) program. You can easily Google a program in your area and there’s a good chance that there’s a local farm nearby that has a program or offers onsite pick up of fresh farm veggies. And did I mention farm fresh eggs?!

 

For those of you that are in the Charleston area here are a few programs you can check out.

  • -Ambrose Family Farms: This is my personal favorite and I try to do either the winter or summer share program depending on my schedule. I would recommend the medium share for a 4-person family. Plus you can always head to the Stono Market on Main Road if you want more veggies.
  • -Legare Farms
  • -Gruber Farms

 

For my Columbia, SC peeps….try these

 

There are a few other large retail companies that are now partnering with local farms to provide customers with access to fresh produce. Check out Overstock.com and search for ‘produce’ and add your zip code to see if there is a program near you. There is also a Costco-like retailer, ThriveMarket.com, which also sells fresh veggies and a wide range of other products that you can have delivered to your door. There are free shipping options with both of these retailers to make it a little more cost efficient.

Everyone should have access to fresh produce regardless of where you live. And buying fresh farm veggies is usually very inexpensive and you’re supporting local business so it’s a win for your wallet and for your local community.

​Cajun Shrimp & Rice Stuffed Peppers

Friday, February 20, 2015

 

This is currently my absolute favorite meal to prepare! After trying to find some healthy grain dishes, I decided to combine several recipes into my own spicy taste of heaven. If you don’t have (or like) shrimp you can add chicken, sausage or ground turkey as a protein alternative. Since we live on the coast, seafood is in healthy supply so I cook with it every chance I get. They make great leftovers too. (My husband even ate them for breakfast.) You can also make these ahead and freeze them for a mid-week easy meal prep. I would take them out in the morning so they are ready to pop in the oven when you are home from work in the evening. 

 


 

Makes 4 Peppers (Enough for 4 people plus a side)

 

2 Large Red Peppers – cored and cut in half

(Save the tops of the peppers to dice into ~1/4 cup)

1 Onion – diced

2 garlic gloves – diced

1 cup chicken stock

2 cups brown rice - cooked

12-24 shrimp – deveined and cut into ~1” pieces

1 tbsp Tony’s Cajun seasoning

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

 

Preheat oven to 375°

Saute onion, red pepper and garlic in olive oil for ~ 5 minutes (Onion should become translucent)

Add shrimp and Tony’s seasoning and continue cooking until shrimp turn pink (~3-5 minutes)

Add rice and chicken stock and cook for another few minutes stirring occasionally

Place the 4 pepper halves in a baking dish

Scoop the shrimp/rice mixture into each of the 4 pepper halves and top with the mozz cheese

Bake for ~30 minutes or until cheese becomes bubbly

 

Enjoy!!!

 


Eat the Rainbow

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Eat the Rainbow



 

Do you feel stuck in a rut? Are you always eating the same things every day? Variety of food is an important factor in eating. Studies show that increasing variety of fresh, whole foods helps to round out nutrition and ensure that you get a variety of important vitamins and minerals. Maybe you have heard that you should “eat the rainbow”, enjoying one food from each color of the rainbow every day.

 

 

Examples of foods from the rainbow:

Red – apples, berries, red peppers

Orange – sweet potatoes, carrots

Yellow – squash, lemons, pineapple

Green – cucumbers, kale, spinach, zucchini

Blue – blueberries

Purple – blackberries, eggplant

 

 

Antioxidants

 

By enjoying a rainbow of colors in your diet, you are accomplishing something very important: You are eating an antioxidant rich diet. Antioxidants are natural substances that exist as vitamins, minerals and other compounds in foods. They are believed to prevent disease and aging by fighting free radicals in the body.

 

What are free radicals? - They form when the body incurs any type of stress - stress from unhealthy foods, toxins in the environment like cigarette smoke, aging, changes in hormones and our breathing.

 

Focusing on antioxidants is great way to stay healthy without jumping on the bandwagon of another fad diet or counting calories until you’re blue in the face. By eating a colorful diet, you will be supplying your body with more power to fight off free radical damage, keeping it younger and healthier for longer.

 

If you’re finding it difficult to get started, try choosing one or two colors that are usually missing from the food you eat. Focus on eating foods with these colors for the next two weeks, long enough to create a new habit and notice any change.

 

©International Association of Wellness Professionals


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