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Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas for People “On the Go”

Do you find yourself grabbing an overstuffed sandwich from the corner deli or hitting the drive-thru at lunch time? Give your waistline and your wallet a break with these healthy “grab and go” lunch options. We promise there will not be any boring salads or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in this roundup! quick-and-healthy-lunch-ideas

Mediterranean Veggie Wrap – Layer hummus, tomato, romaine, cucumber, 4 chopped black olives and 1 oz crumbled feta on a whole-wheat wrap.

Tex-Mex Sweet Potato – Microwave and mix flesh with 2 tablespoons of hummus, top with ½ cup black beans, 2 cups of steamed spinach and 2 – 3 tablespoons of salsa.

Lentil Couscous Salad – Mix ½ cup cooked lentils, ½ cup cooked whole wheat couscous, ½ cup cherry tomatoes (halved), ¼ avocado (diced) and 1 oz feta or goat cheese. Drizzle with a zesty Italian dressing.

Avocado and Chickpea Salad – Combine 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas, 1 large ripe avocado, juice of one lime, 1 diced scallion, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash chickpeas and avocado, stir in lime juice and scallion and add salt and pepper to taste. Spread mixture onto whole grain bread and top with lettuce, tomato, sprouts or whatever else you enjoy.

Tuna and Chickpeas over Greens – Combine 3 oz of tuna (drained), ½ cup chickpeas (rinsed) and 1 – 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Serve over 2 cups of lettuce.

Bean and Salsa Pita: You’ll need ¼ cup refried beans, ¼ cup salsa, 2 tablespoons of cheddar cheese and 1 small wheat pita. Warm up the refried beans, top with cheese and salsa. Stuff the pita with the mixture.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps – Ingredients include 4 large lettuce leaves, 4 tomato slices, ¼ avocado (sliced) and 4 slices deli chicken. Top each lettuce leaf with a slice of chicken, tomato and avocado – roll and eat.

Quick Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad – Combine 1 cup chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup sliced cucumbers with 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves over 1 cup cooked quinoa. Top with 2 teaspoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar.

Quinoa Veggie Salad – Combine ½ cup quinoa, ¼ cup cherry tomatoes (halved), 1/3 cup edamame, ¼ cup chopped red pepper and ¼ cup shredded red cabbage. Toss with 2 teaspoons of sesame seed oil and 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar. Top with 1 teaspoon sesame seeds.

Black Bean, Mango and Brown Rice Salad – You’ll need ½ cup black beans, ½ cup cubed mango, ½ cup cooked brown rice, 2 tablespoons of cilantro (or parsley). Mix all ingredients together and top with squeeze of lime juice and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. This can be enjoyed warm or chilled.

Roast Beef and Cheese Pinwheels – Layer 2 oz roast beef, 1 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese and one 1 roasted red pepper on a whole wheat wrap. Roll tightly and slice into pinwheels.

Taco Mason Jar Salad – Mix ½ cup salsa, 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt, ½ cup beans (black or kidney) seasoned with 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning and a 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Add to bottom of the Mason jar. Next add ½ cup diced cucumber, ¼ cup sliced radish, 2 tablespoons of sliced red or onion, and ¼ of an avocado. Next, layer diced lettuce and top off with 1 oz shredded cheddar cheese.

The following foods are always great to have on hand for quick “grab and go” meals: hardboiled egg, baby carrots, chopped broccoli, grape tomatoes, individual hummus packs, cheese sticks, tuna packets and whole grain crackers.

What is your favorite healthy go-to lunch? Tweet us at @EatSmartScales.

BBQ and Peanut Chicken Tenders

BBQ Chicken   Skinny MomIngredients

  • 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken tenders
  • ½ cup low-sugar BBQ sauce (I used Stubb’s® Original BBQ Sauce)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ⅓ cup unsalted peanuts, coarsely ground in food processor
Supplies:
  • non-stick aluminum foil
  • 1 gallon heavy-duty food storage bag that locks

For cooking instructions, click here.

About the author: Skinny Mom is a leading digital publishing company that gives moms “the skinny” on healthy living. Skinny Mom delivers original recipes, workouts, and healthy living tips and trends to inspire moms across the globe to live the healthiest life they can. 

 

Charity of the Month April 2015 –

EatSmart fans will continue to select a Charity of the Month in 2015. Fans will submit short stories about the charity’s mission and why it’s meaningful to them. We began our Charity of the Month donations in 2011.

uso

EatSmart fan, Patti Salinger, selected the USO as our charity of the month for April 2015.

Here’s why Patti selected the USO: For the past 10 years, I have been sending support packages to our Deployed Military overseas.  Some of the organizations I worked with are kind of small and grassroots.  But the USO, well, everyone of a certain age will remember watching all of the Bob Hope USO tours of Vietnam.  My Dad served in the Army in WWII and my brother was in the Army during the Korean War. One of my nephews served during Desert Storm in the Army. And currently, I have one nephew in the Air Force (I know, he messed up the Army lineage of our family.)  They have all told stories of how the USO helped with morale, brought singers like Trace Atkins and Gary Sinese with his Lt Dan Band to war zones.  I am sure every person who has ever served in our Military would have good things to say about the USO as well.

About the USO:

Mission: The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families.

Millions of times each year at hundreds of locations around the world, the USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families.  A nonprofit, congressionally chartered, private organization, the USO relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations and corporations to support its activities. The USO is not part of the U.S. government, but is recognized by the Department of Defense, Congress and President of the United States, who serves as Honorary Chairman of the USO.

We will be donating 50 cents for every new Twitter follower during the month of April. (So spread the word!)

Click here, follow us and EatSmart will donate:

Twitter IconIf interested in submitting a charity for consideration, please email karen@eatsmartproducts.com. The donation amount will be capped at 500 new followers/likes.

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

Ginbgerbread & Squash 062_Edited

Author: The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook by Wendy Polisi
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup green onions
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup (uncooked) quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon sage, chopped
  • cheese of your choice for sprinkling; Gruyere is recommended
Instructions
  1. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes.
  2. Place the squash cut-side down on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
  3. While the squash bakes, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the red pepper and green onions until softened, about five minutes.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, quinoa, and sage and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for five additional minutes.
  7. When the baked squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out most of the pulp and place in a bowl. Leave about ¼ inch of squash along the shell to keep it intact enough to hold the filling.
  8. Mash the removed pulp with a fork, then stir in the cooked quinoa and red pepper mixture.
  9. Stuff all of this back into the two butternut squash shells and sprinkle with as much cheese as you would like.
  10. Return the now stuffed and cheese covered shells to the oven and broil for just a few minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

About the Author: LeAndra is the author, cook, photographer, and chief dishwasher behind the blog Love & Flour. She is learning to like quinoa almost as much as she likes chocolate chip cookies.

Spring Produce Guide

Spring-produce-guide-2015
After a long winter who doesn’t enjoy the first signs of spring? Along with longer days, spring brings a whole new crop of vegetables and fruits for us to enjoy! Spring clean your diet with the best of this season’s fresh produce. We are sharing our favorites, and why we like them in the list below.

Apricots

Smooth and sweet, apricots are related to peaches and should be a rich orange color. They’re delicious on their own and taste wonderful in a green salad. They’re a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as numerous antioxidants.

Artichokes

Did you know artichokes are actually the buds of a purple flower? Choose tight buds for the best taste. They are rich in folate, fiber, vitamins C and K. They are also number 7 on the USDA’s top 20 antioxidant-rich foods list!artichoke-580696_1280

Asparagus

Asparagus is at its peak now! It has folate for heart health as well as vitamins E, A and C. They should be bright green, show no signs of shriveling and have a tight and firm tip.

Grapefruit

Tangy and tart with a hint of sweetness grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C and lycopene. Serve grapefruit at breakfast, serve with chilled cooked shrimp and avocado or chop with cilantro and chili peppers for a salsa.

Lettuce

Choose dark leafy greens, such as romaine. Romaine contains large amounts of vitamin K and is a good source of vitamins A and folate. It is always delicious in a salad or green juice but it also tastes amazing when grilled!

Peas

Green peas for shelling should have green, glossy pods that feel firm and full. Snow pea pods should be flat with almost no visible lumps of peas inside. As for the health benefits, peas provide us with key antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Radish

Radishes are of spring’s first and finest treats, peppery in taste and vibrant in color. They are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and have a mere 9 calories per ½ cup. Throw them in a salad raw or cook them for a more mild taste. radishes-322830_1280

Ramps

Ramps, also known as wild leeks, are popular with chefs and foodies. These vitamin and anti-oxidant rich vegetables are only around for a short time during the spring. They taste like onions and garlic and can be cooked similarly to leeks and scallions. Here’s a recipe round up that will make you fall in love with ramps.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb has a sour flavor and pairs well with strawberries, grapefruit and orange. It’s very popular in many Middle Eastern and Moroccan dishes. Choose thick, firm stalks with no wrinkling or other signs of drying and trim any leaves. It’s low in calories and high in vitamins A, C and K.

Spring Onions / Scallions

Part of the onion family, spring onions have a milder taste than their counterparts and don’t overpower dishes. They are high in the phytonutrient polyphenol and are a good source of biotin and manganese. Don’t over peel the spring onion or you’ll lose its nutritional benefits. They’re delicious in salsa, guacamole, soups, rice, vegetable dishes and salads.

Strawberries

Look for bright red, firm berries that have bright green cap, are free of mushy spots and mold. Strawberries have more vitamin C than oranges and are a good source of manganese and potassium. They are the most popular berry in the world.strawberries-499118_1280

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard is high in a number of vitamins, antioxidants and contains the more rare phytonutrient belatian. Choose crispy bright looking leaves with unblemished stalks. Chard can be used in place of spinach and similarly cooked.

Visit your farmers market or the produce section of your grocery store and try something new along with your seasonal favorites.

What is your favorite spring vegetable or fruit? Tweet to us @eatsmartscales.

 

P.F. Chang’s-inspired Chicken Endive Wraps

chickenendive wrap recipe

INGREDIENTS

ENDIVE:

  • About 1 pound Belgian endive

COOKING SAUCE:

CHICKEN:

  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) untoasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) minced ginger
  • 1 pound ground chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup (57 grams) reserved hard, white endive ends, finely chop (optional)
  • 2 – 3 scallions/green onions, finely chop white and light green parts for chicken, thinly slice green tops and reserve for garnish

For cooking directions, click here.

About the Author: Heather Sage is a gluten-free recipe developer, writer and Brit + Co freelance food editor living in Orlando by way of the Silicon Valley.  Her website, A Sage Amalgam, is dedicated to sharing gluten-free recipes inspired by all the places she’s been and those she hopes to travel to in the future!

Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas for People “On The Go”

You know that breakfast is important but you’re short on time and just want to grab something quick. We get it – mornings are hectic but breakfast doesn’t have to be a sugary pop tart or calorie-laden deli muffin. Back away from that doughnut! We have 12 healthy breakfasts that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized instead of full and sluggish.Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Yogurt Parfait

Pair plain Greek yogurt with fruit of your choice. Frozen fruit works too! Sweeten it up with a little honey and sprinkle your favorite granola on top.

Overnight Oats

Mix ½ cup of rolled oats, ½ cup of berries or ½ a banana – sliced, 2 tablespoons of nuts, a dash of cinnamon and 3/4 cup of milk in a container with a lid. Refrigerate overnight and you’ll have breakfast ready to “grab and go” in the morning. blueberries-531209_1920

Peanut Butter and Banana Roll Ups

Take a small whole wheat or corn soft tortilla, spread with 1 – 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and place a small banana in it.

Quick Microwaved Eggs

Beat 2 eggs, throw in a microwave-safe container, add 1 handful of your favorite veggies (cherry tomatoes and spinach leaves work well), and a sprinkle of cheese. Zap the mixture for 30 seconds, stir, and cook another 30 seconds, or until eggs are solid.

Sweet Cheese Waffles

Mix ¼ c ricotta cheese and ¼ c blueberries with 1 tsp sugar. Top two whole grain toaster waffles (preferably organic) with the cheese and berry mixture for a sweet filling breakfast.

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Heat ½ c of leftover cooked quinoa and ½ c unsweetened almond milk, top with fruit of choice.

Apple Bowls

Cut an apple in half, remove the core and fill each side with 2 tsp almond butter. Top with a tablespoon of granola.

Coffee Smoothie

Blend ½ cup of cold coffee, ½ cup of milk, 1 small banana, 1 tablespoon of nut butter and a few ice cubes for a quick breakfast with a kick.

“Instant” Oatmeal

Make your own oatmeal packets. Portion out ½ c rolled oats with 2 tablespoons of nuts or seeds, 2 tablespoons of raisins and cinnamon into baggies. Grab a baggie and heat oatmeal with 1 cup of almond milk in a large microwave safe bowl on medium power for 5 minutes.

Avocado Toast

Top 2 slices of toast with ½ a mashed avocado, sprinkle with salt and top with a sliced hard-boiled egg.

Sweet Potato with Peanut Butter

Microwave a small sweet potato for 2.5 minutes, top with 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter and sprinkle with granola for a little crunch. Drizzle with honey if desired.

No time to put anything together? Here are a few more to literally “grab and go”: a string cheese, an apple and whole grain crackers; a banana, an individual packet of almond butter (we like Justin’s Natural) and a plain yogurt; a hard-boiled egg and an avocado.

Share your favorite quick and easy breakfast recipe with us, @eatsmartscales.

Healthy Blueberry Banana Bread with Oatmeal and Flax

blueberry banana bread
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Heart Healthy Bisquick
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 2 tbsp finely ground flax meal
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 3 tbsp
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fat free half and half, almond milk, soy milk or skim milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries (if using frozen, make sure you drain them well)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

For baking directions, click here.

About the Author: We at Skinnysweetsdaily.com feel you can have your sweet treat and still stay on a healthy eating plan. By cutting down on fat and calories but bringing up the flavors and textures of our recipes. You can have a great tasting dessert and enjoy every single bite without the guilt. Enjoy!

St. Patrick’s Day Recipe Roundup

StPaddysDay Recipe Roundup2Everyone is Irish on St. Paddy’s Day, right? However, traditional Irish cuisine and beverages (yes, all that beer), can be tough on our waistlines. We want to provide some inspiration on how to have a healthier celebration this year. Whether you are cooking for your family or attending a party, we’ve compiled a roundup of some festive treats. Why not start your day off with a healthy Minty Green Smoothie?

Mango Avocado Smoothie

mango-avocado-smoothieGet the recipe from Upstate Ramblings


St. Patrick’s Day BreadScreenshot 2015-03-10 11.52.19

Get the recipe from Skinny Mom


St. Patrick’s Day Chia Seed Pudding

Chia Seed Pudding 1.2Get the recipe from Susi’s Kochen und Backen Adventures


Shamrock Chips

shamrock chips 6Get the recipe from Zakka Life


Lightened Up Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies

d-Mint-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies-Healthierholidays-011 (1)Get the recipe from Peanut Butter and Peppers


Mint Chocolate Chip Glazed Popcorn

Mint-Chocolate-Chip-Glazed-Popcorn-1Get the recipe from Cupcakes and Kale Chips


Mint Shake

MintShakeGet the recipe from The Empowered Plate


Do you have a healthy twist on a traditional St. Patrick’s Day treat? Tweet us at @EatSmartScales!

Mason Jar Carrot Noodle Salad w/Sweet Chili Vinaigrette

mason-jar-salad-all-mixed-up-noshThe key to a great mason jar salad is the layering and packing it in tight, so things don’t move around.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Thai sweet red chili sauce
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dark Amber Maple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Carrot (spiralized, or julienned)
  • 1 roasted bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill hulled hemp seeds
  • 1⁄3 cup cashews (plain or flavored, like Asian Sesame)
  • 2 cups Spinach (or sub your favorite greens)

For instructions, click here.

About the Author: Kelly is the author, recipe creator, and food photographer behind the blog Nosh and Nourish. She incorporates nourishing superfoods into every meal for her husband, adorable toddler, and herself (think quinoa, Greek yogurt, chickpeas, kale, eggs, etc..) and manages to keep everything tasting absolutely delicious! Learn more by visiting her blog, at http://noshandnourish.com/, or check out her new cookbook “Superfoods at Every Meal” here.

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