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Anyone can put together a salad, but if your looking for greens to be the main event at your next meal then this article is for you. Salads can be a little lack luster when you’re simply taking some greens out of a bag and pouring on dressing. Here is an easy formula for constructing the perfect salad.
Every good salad needs: greens, dressing, protein, an added crunch and at least one bonus item.
Greens: when you think salad you immediately envision lettuce. However, your base of greens can be a variety of veggies. Shaved asparagus, cabbage, chopped kohlrabi or a roasted squash or brussel sprout. Your vegetable base can be grilled, pickled, raw or roasted.
Dressing: this is an important part of any salad. Dressings come in two main categories-vinaigrettes or creamy dressings. It’s important to remember that you don’t want to weigh down a soft leafy green, like spring mix, with a heavy creamy dressing. This will drown out flavors and make your greens feel mushy. Light leafy green mixes pair well with vinaigrettes while bold more bitter flavors from cabbage and kale and can stand up to a creamy base. Less is more when it comes to salad dressing.
Protein: a little protein can add stability and satisfaction to your salad. Anything goes here, just keep your protein flavors in line with your vegetables.
Crunch: this is the secret key ingredient. Roasted nuts, a classic crouton, savory granola, flax seeds and hemp seeds make great crunchy toppers.
Bonus items: think seasonal. Fresh or dried fruit, herbs and ancient grains make perfect bonus items. Berries work great in the summer along with fresh basil, cilantro or mint. Winter can be a great time to add quinoa, rice, couscous or barley.
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Olive Oil
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
1 (32 oz carton) Clearly Organic Chicken Broth
2 cups Clearly Organic Vegetable Broth
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Dried Basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Pepper
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups egg noodles
Place olive oil, onion, celery and carrots in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Sauté for 5 minutes to soften vegetables. Add broth and seasoning to the pot. Bring to a boil. Stew covered for 20 minutes over medium low heat. Add chicken and noodles to the pot and stir to combine. Continue cooking on medium heat until noodles are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove bay leave before serving.
1 (15oz) can pumpkin purée
3 Clearly Organic Egg Yolks
1 Clearly Organic Egg
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon all spice
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Butter, chilled and cubed
1/4 cup ice water
Maple Vanilla Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Maple Syrup
1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Pure Vanilla Extract
Start by making your pie crust. In a mixing bowl combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in water one tablespoon at a time until mix forms a ball. For best results use an electric mixer to cut in butter and stir in water. It’s also best to wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate overnight. Then roll out dough to fit a 9 inch pie pan. Place crust in pie plate and press into the bottom and sides. Scallop the edges of the crust if desired.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together pumpkin, egg yolks and egg. Add sweetened condensed milk, salt and spices. Whisk until throughly combined. Pour filling into pie crust in a 9 inch pie pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 35-40 minutes. Bake until pie is fully set in the middle, test by inserting knife in the center of the pie. After removing from oven allow pie to cool completely before serving or cutting.
Maple Vanilla Whipped Cream:
Place a metal mixing bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will help the cream whip faster and stay fluffy. Pour cold whipping cream into chilled metal bowl. Using a standing mixer or whisk vigorously whip cream until soft peaks form. Add maple syrup and vanilla then continue beating until stiff peaks form. Gently scoop a dollop on top of your favorite dessert! Store in an air tight container for up to three days.
The holiday season is upon us, and this festive time of year can have a big impact on your nutrition routine. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics the average American gains one to two pounds over the holidays. This may not sound like a significant amount but the reality is most people don’t lose those extra couple pounds. Making the holiday season a potential culprit for habitual weight gain. However, it doesn’t have to be that way! You can enjoy all your seasonal favorites if you practice some simple mindful eating.
Mindful eating (verses mindless eating) is the practice of becoming more aware of your body and mind connection to hunger. It’s analyzing how needs and wants affect your nutrition decisions. Mindful eating around the holidays can be making the conscience decision to only eat one plate of food at a meal verses going back to the buffet for seconds. Mindful eating is also the decision to eat more vegetables at a meal verses filling your plate with carbohydrates and meat. The basis of mindful eating is the desire to make better food choices and then follow through on that goal.
2/3 cup Clearly Organic Butter, softened
2/3 cup Clearly Organic Brown Sugar
1 1/2 cups Clearly Organic Old Fashioned Oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric hand mixer beat together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add 2 eggs and continue beating with electric hand mixer. In a separate bowl combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine dry ingredients. Add 1/3 of the flour mix to the butter mixture bowl and stir with spoon to combine. Repeat until all of the flour and butter mixtures are evenly combined into one batter. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate. Drop batter in small spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cookies cool on a wire rack.
8 oz Clearly Organic Whole Wheat Rotini Noodles
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Olive Oil
1 cup shiitake mushroom cups, cut in half
1 cup cremini mushrooms, cut in half
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup Clearly Organic Milk
1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
2 Tablespoons panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta according to package. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with thyme and salt, continue cooking about 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the mushroom mixture and cook for 1 minute. Then add milk and bring to a simmer while stirring. Add pasta, cheeses and chopped fresh spinach. Cook about 3 minutes until spinach slightly wilts. Then remove contents from the sauté pan and transfer to an oven safe dish. Sprinkle panko on top and bake for 10 minutes.
Cinnamon, maple, squash, apple and pumpkin…ohhh the sights and smells of Fall. When the sweaters and scarves come out we also start changing our meal habits and food choices. Fall often brings us back to soup, casseroles and warm pasta dishes. A common misconception is that these warm comfort foods have to be heavy on the calories and light on nutrients. Here are a few simple tips to make comfort foods healthier.
1. Make a cream sauce without heavy cream. Experiment with evaporated milk or use 2%
2. Swap your noodles. Try whole wheat pasta for your spaghetti or in your macaroni and cheese.
3. Try new varieties of potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes work great for creamy mashed potatoes without all the butter. Also try chicken stock verses butter for extra creamy and smoothmashed potatoes.
4. Choose lean meat. Instead of ground beef use grass fed free range meat.
As if we needed any more reasons to enjoy this seasonal favorite. Pumpkin not only adds flavor and spice to a recipe it also adds nutrients. This bright orange squash is loaded with Vitamin A and carotenoids. Vitamin A is best known for its ability to aid in vision clarity and help fight off certain cancers. Pumpkin seeds, just like other nuts and seeds, are excellent sources of plant based chemicals that can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
One cup of mashed pumpkin is loaded with potassium. Potassium helps us keep our electrolytes balanced so muscles can recover and function properly for rebuilding. Pumpkin cooks up beautifully in pies, soup, breads, ravioli, dips and casseroles. Watch the Clearly Organic blog for a healthier pumpkin pie recipe!
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup Clearly Organic Chicken broth
1 cup 2% Clearly Organic Milk
2 cups Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 sour cream
1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Black Pepper
5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons green onion, sliced
In a large stock pot place 2 Tablespoons oil and 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion. Sauté on medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until onions look translucent. Add butter to pot and allow to fully melt then add 1/4 cup flour and begin to whisk into contents. This will make a thick sauce. Once the sauce looks somewhat smooth add chicken broth and continue whisking contents while it returns to a boil. Pour in milk and bring contents to a low boil. Place potatoes, green onion, Greek yogurt and sour cream into the pot and stir. Allow contents to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper as desired. You will know the soup is ready when the potatoes are cooked through and very tender. While contents is simmering. Cook bacon and prep toppings.
These pumpkin granola treats are an easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth!
1 bag Clearly Organic Pumpkin Flaxseed Granola
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 tbsp butter
¼ cup chocolate chips
Melt marshmallows and butter together in saucepan over low heat; stir continuously until melted.
Remove from heat and stir in granola until completely covered with marshmallow mixture.
Line an 8×8 pan with parchment or wax paper. Then pour and press granola mixture into pan. Let cool for a few minutes before sprinkling chocolate chips on top – you may need to gently press chocolate chips into bars. Cool in refrigerator to harden for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.