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Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Vegetarian Spicy Rice-Bean Dish

Guest post by Mary Balandiat, owner of Nuts 4 Stuff Blog.

1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1-1/2 cups finely sliced cabbage
1 hot Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper
3/4 cup cooked dry pinto beans
2 cups uncooked rice
2 tablespoons of Pasta Sauce
2 tablespoons of Dei Fratelli Casera Salsa
2 teaspoons of sugar
1/4 cup California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Bold & Peppery Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
4 cups of water
1/2 cup of uncooked macaroni

Add your finely chopped onion, chopped pepper, and fresh cabbage that you slice into thin diagonal strips into the pot with your olive oil and cook until onions become golden and the cabbage cooks some and softens a bit.

Next add your raw rice and macaroni, stir in sugar, salt, and spices and cook for a few minutes until thoroughly combined.

Now add your water, cooked pinto beans, the sauces, and cook this on high until it comes to a boil. Then cover with a lid and lower the heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes until the rice is fluffy.

About the Author: Being health conscious, Mary B. likes to share helpful tips and her own recipes to promote healthier eating on her Nuts 4 Stuff Blog as well as beauty, reviews, giveaways, thrifty tips, household solutions, and basically everything she’s nuts about to share with her readers. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Charity of the Month for April 2012 – Susan G Komen

EatSmart fans will select each Charity of the Month in 2012. 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.

For April 2012, loyal EatSmart Fan, Meghan Finley selected the Susan G. Komen Foundation. We will be donating 50 cents for every new Facebook Like during the month of April. (So spread the word!)

Read why Meghan picked the Susan G. Komen Foundation:
I support the Susan G. Komen Foundation because my aunt is a breast cancer survivor. We’ve had many trials and tribulations throughout the years but the early prevention that this organization helps support is one of the most important reasons that she’s alive and well today. If we can ensure that everyone’s mom, aunt, sister, daughter etc is provided with these same services, they can only be as blessed as our family. I appreciate that during this time while we are walking for all those affected and those who will be affected, we are supported by a company who shares our values.

Our group walking in particular is a group of mostly Native women on the Colville Indian Reservation trying to raise awareness and prevention among our peers. We feel it’s particularly important here because while the mortality rates for Native women are lower, the 5-year breast cancer survival rate for American Indian women is lower than that of other ethnic and racial groups in the U.S.

Our longtime fan Meghan Finley is a lifetime resident of the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys foreign films, cooking television entertainment and is a frybread aficionado. Meghan is honored to be participating in the Susan G. Komen Eastern Washington Race for the Cure® on April 22, 2012.

If interested in submitting a charity for consideration, please email The donation amount will be capped at 500 new followers/likes.

Cashew Crusted Salmon

Guest post by Julie Fagan, author of the blog Peanut Butter Fingers.

Ingredients (Serves 2)
3/4 lb. salmon filet
1/3 c. raw cashews
1/3 c. parmesan cheese
1 tsp. basil
3/4 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine cashews, parmesan cheese, basil and olive oil in a food processor and pulse until mixture is fine.
Top a cookie sheet with foil and place salmon on top of the foil.
Top salmon with cashew crumbs and place another sheet of foil over the salmon, sealing the fish within the foil.
Bake for 12 minutes before removing foil and baking for another 3 – 5 minutes, until topping is slightly brown and fish is fully cooked.

About the Author: Julie Fagan is the author of the blog Peanut Butter Fingers, which follows her life as a freelance writer and blogger as she strives to workout regularly, eat (mostly) healthy and enjoy life with her husband and their crazy dog. Julie’s blog frequently features super-sweaty workouts and delicious recipes.

Celebration Giveaway

To celebrate breaking 5,000 Facebook Likes, TWO lucky fans will win a new EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale in the color of their choice!

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Entering the contest is extremely easy, and can be done through the form below.  Here is how you can win:

  • Fill in your name and email. (1 Entry)
  • What color BATHROOM SCALE would match your bathroom? We are currently designing a new bathroom scale and looking for feedback. (1 Entry)
  • Like this blog post. (1 Entry)
  • Follow the EatSmart blog – enter your email into the right hand column. (1 Entry)

Giveaway ends on April 1st at 12 noon EST. The lucky winner will selected at random and notified by email. They will have 48 hours to reply back before a new winner is selected. (Sorry, but it’s limited to US residents only!)

Food for Thought

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The March 2012 National Nutrition Month theme is “Get Your Plate in Shape”. The focus of this campaign is on the importance of making informed food choices and incorporating sound eating and physical activity in everyday life.

This month, the Academy has shared several informative blog posts including ways to cut back on your sodium intake, advice on enjoying your food but eating less, and the big benefits gained from making small changes to what you drink. We can use this information to educate ourselves on how to achieve healthier lifestyles.

I recently came across an article that caught my attention, “The Stanford Marshmallow Study”. This is not exactly what first comes to mind when thinking about healthy eating, but I learned of an interesting correlation between the ability of 4-year olds to delay immediate self gratification and lifelong success.

In the 1960’s, a Stanford Psychology researcher offered hungry 4-year olds ONE marshmallow—or if they could wait 20 minutes, TWO marshmallows. Years later, when the children graduated from high school, the reported differences were dramatic. The tots that grabbed the ONE marshmallow carried this impulse towards self gratification into their adult years, resulting in bad health, low job satisfaction and frustrating lives. The children showing self discipline (the ability to delay self gratification and wait for a reward of TWO marshmallows) grew into adults with the habits of successful people, including better eating habits, higher incomes and more fulfilling lives, in general.

In a nutshell, this study shows the importance of self-discipline and how it leads to lifelong success.  To me an interesting correlation—a little self control when it comes to our eating habits can make a big difference in our overall health.  Just some FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

How do you practice self control while eating? Do you have any good tips?

Story by: Maria Geronimo, Public Relations Director at EatSmart Products.

Green Smoothie Recipe

To celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, we’ve “gone green” and created this festive and nutritious Holiday drink. Green smoothies provide the opportunity to mix leafy greens with fruit to create a delicious drink.  Raw greens are among the most nutritious foods on the planet, but we rarely consume enough of them. Start Saint Patrick’s Day off right by adding green flair to your fruit smoothie!

7-10 Strawberries
7-10 Red Grapes
1 Banana
1 Handful of Blueberries or Blackberries
1 Serving of Greek Yogurt – I used vanilla flavored.
1/4 Cup of Almond Milk or Water
1 Big Handful of Baby Spinach or Kale

Directions: Put all ingredients into a blender and mix until you reach desired texture. This only took about 30-45seconds in my Health Master Blender. To impress, always garnish with a piece of fresh fruit.

Why Spinach? If you haven’t already heard, spinach is at the top of many “super food” lists. It’s one of the healthiest foods on the planet, loaded with calcium, folic acid, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, carotenoids and iron – to name just a few! What does this mean for you? Spinach helps build muscle, strengthen bones, prevent heart disease and cancers, and improve cellular function. Have this Smoothie as part of breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert!

What’s your favorite healthy Saint Patty’s Day recipe?

About the Author: Karen Welby is the Marketing Director at EatSmart Products and a Personal Trainer/Health Coach.

Color Your Saint Patrick’s Day the Healthy Way

With Saint Patrick’s Day only days away, the first things that come to mind are parades and people wearing, eating and drinking green. On St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll find bagels, cupcakes, cookies – even beer – all sporting a festive green color.

This year, we’ve done the research for you and found some great ideas for healthy (and colorful) platters to bring to your Saint Patrick’s Day celebration.

And remember, just because it’s a holiday, doesn’t mean you should skip the fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Fill up on these nutritious options and enjoy the day!

Here are a few healthy recipes to inspire you in the kitchen and impress at the party:

Edamame Hummus – Full Recipe available at Gimme Some Oven.
Rainbow Veggie & Chip Platter – Photo compliments of Pinterest.
Spinach Quinoa Muffins – Full Recipe available at Six One Seven.
Irish Pizza – Make your own healthy pizza with a thin, whole wheat crust and top it with orange peppers, spinach and cauliflower.

About the Author: Karen Welby is the Marketing Director at EatSmart Products and a Personal Trainer/Health Coach.

Healthy Vegetarian Lasagna

Guest post by Anjali Shah, food writer and owner of  The Picky Eater, a healthy food and lifestyle blog.

Whole wheat lasagna noodles (uncooked)
4 fresh, organic zucchini or corguettes
2 red bell peppers
1 bag of organic baby spinach
1 red onion, chopped
Garlic; minced
Dried oregano
Dried basil
Fresh thyme
1-28oz. can of crushed tomatoes (with Italian spices added–like basil, oregano, etc. if you can find that)
1 jar ready-made spaghetti sauce (I like the tomato basil marinara from Trader Joe’s!)
Olive oil and cooking spray
Fat-free ricotta cheese
Low-fat shredded mozzarella
Shredded Parmesan or 4 cheese blend (I used this shredded 4 cheese blend from Trader Joe’s that has Parmesan, Asiagio, Mozzarella and Fontina)

Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions (leave them al dente)–salt the water, if you like. Once they’re done, lay them flat on foil and set aside.

Quarter all 4 zucchini and thinly slice.
Thinly slice one of the red bell peppers (I cut the slices in half so they’re not so long).
Mince 3 cloves of garlic.
Heat about 1 tbsp. olive oil in a pan over medium heat (I might have used a little less–maybe 2-3 tsp), saute the garlic, zucchini, red pepper together.
Add the whole bag of baby spinach at the end (when the zucchini/red pepper are almost done cooking).
Sprinkle oregano and dried basil to taste on top, stir, and let it cook a couple more min.
When the spinach is cooked, turn the heat down to low.

Mince 2-3 cloves of garlic.
Dice half a red onion (If it’s a small onion, dice the whole thing).
Dice the other red bell pepper.
Heat 2-3 tsp olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
Saute the red onion, garlic, and red pepper for a few min (until the onion starts turning a little translucent).
Add the crushed tomatoes.
Add dried oregano (I’m not sure how much I put–I basically sprinkled it over the top and stirred it in–maybe 2 tsp.).
Once the sauce is heated through, turn the heat down on low.

Combine 1.5 cups of the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella, 1 cup of the Parmesan (or 4 cheese mixture if you can find that at Trader Joe’s) in a bowl.

I used a casserole dish to assemble the lasagna in–and sprayed the bottom of the dish with cooking spray.
Put a layer of sauce at the bottom of the dish (I did about half of the pre-made spaghetti sauce and half of the sauce I made myself–I did this for every layer except the top).
Put a layer of the lasagna noodles.
Put another layer of the sauce (1/2 pre-made, 1/2 self made).
Put a layer of the veggies. Take the cheese mixture, and put little crumbles of the cheese mixture all over the veggie layer (don’t try to spread it out, the little crumbles seemed to work well).
Put another layer of the lasagna noodles.
Layer of sauce (if you have enough use the self made, otherwise add in the pre-made as needed).
Layer of veggies.
Cheese mixture crumbles.
Layer of lasagna noodles.
Layer of sauce (only self made).
Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese all over the top.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.
Uncover and bake for 5 min. longer until the cheese has melted.

About the Author:  Anjali Shah is a food writer and owner of The Picky Eater, a healthy food and lifestyle blog. Her blog chronicles her adventures in making healthy recipes that her “fast food loving husband” will enjoy – so all of her recipes are “husband approved”! You’ll also find healthy lifestyle tips, snippets of Anjali’s everyday life, and other personal anecdotes alongside healthy and flavorful recipes on her blog. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, or Google+, and subscribe to her blog here.

7 Tips for Eating Healthy While Traveling

Guest post by Abby Phon, certified Holistic Health Coach at
I LOVE to travel and do it as often as I can. I also love to feel and look good too. I don’t think traveling or having a different schedule should deter you from feeling and looking your best. If you feel great, you’ll have an even more enjoyable trip! Here are some healthy helpful tips:

1. Bring HEALTHY snacks! As a child (who am I kidding, she still does it!), my mother would always bring healthy snacks for us kids – whether it was on the way to a softball practice or a weekend road trip. Fruits, cut up veggies and nuts are great options. You can keep apple slices from oxidizing with a squeeze of lemon juice, and use the hotel mini-bar as a personal snack fridge for those baby carrots and slices of cucs!  You can also make your own trail mix using dried fruit and nuts. For longer trips, I recommend Larabars (made of whole foods and natural ingredients) as a healthier alternative to fat and sugar-laden protein and cereal bars. If you know you’ll be tempted by seeing others on the airplane eat the potato chips they pass out (or other junk food) bring your own baggy of air popped popcorn.

2. Add veggies! When ordering out, at every lunch and dinner, have vegetables. Whether that means having a salad with grilled chicken or fish for lunch, or starting with a salad or getting a side of sautéed spinach with dinner…make sure you have veggies at least during 2 out of your 3 meals. The fiber in veggies keeps you feeling full longer, and eating it first will take space away from the (usually) less-healthy entree.  Since more and more pick-your-topping salad bars (like Chop’t and Cosi) are popping up across the U.S, this makes eating healthy while traveling easier. In foreign countries, check out supermarkets for salad options. In Africa I stopped at the grocery store closest to the airport and made my own salad for the long flight home. If your dinners are rich and not the healthiest, a good salad for lunch will help keep things in check.

3. Water. My secret weapon. Ok, it’s not a secret. Everyone knows I drink like a fish! (I am a Pisces after all!). Drink. And then drink some more. Keeps you hydrated, energetic and prevents unnecessary hunger.

4. Pack your plane food. Whenever I fly, I always bring my own meal on the plane. And by meal I mean a big salad or veggies and a whole grain that I make or purchase before I get to the airport (it’s hard to tell what options the airport will have). Something healthy and chock full of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to keep me feeling good, satiated and healthy!

5. Protein & green powders. Depending where you are, fresh veggies and fruit may not be an option.  This is a good alternative. I just toss my re-usable shake bottle in my carry on, with a few packets of both protein & green powders (I like variety!) and I have an instant healthy drink, snack or meal anytime – just add water.

6. Share dessert. This really depends where you are traveling. For example, if you are traveling around the U.S., not only can you share dessert with your significant other or best friend, but you can often invite the family of 5 next to you to join in as well. In foreign countries the portions seem to be much smaller, but sharing still lets you treat yourself while on vacation without overdoing it.

7. Eat local. Find out from your concierge, tour guide or taxi driver what the region is good at.  Is the area known for its farming or pastures?  Is it a citrus or fruit heaven?  If you can, eat what the locals eat.  Hopefully they know what is locally grown and in-season!  If it’s local and fresh, not only will it taste amazing it will give you a more authentic experience.  Obviously some places require more attention than others (different bacteria and amoebas in the water, for example) but do you really want to have Italian in Mexico City or a burrito in Tuscany?

But the most important thing to keep in mind is enjoy it!  Don’t just have a fast-food burger because it’s “safe.”  When you are satisfied with your food, you won’t eat unnecessarily and snack. You’ll be a satiated and a happy traveler.

What are your tips for eating healthy while traveling?

About the Author: Abby Phon is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She received her training at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. She is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She is also a certified Shiatsu practitioner, a licensed massage therapist, an AFAA nationally certified group fitness instructor, an IntenSati Leader and a certified Oneness Blessing (Deeksha) Giver. You can find more about Abby on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

Gluten Free Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup

Guest Post by Jenny Manseau, Culinary Arts/Culinary Nutrition student and author of the blog Creative Cooking Gluten Free.


In a large stock pot over medium heat add olive oil. Add the garlic and ginger, cook for 1 minute. Add celery and carrots and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Add chopped butternut squash and vegetable stock. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until squash is fork tender.

Remove pan from heat. Using an immersion blender blend soup until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Return to burner to warm throughout. Add maple agave nectar right before serving.

About the Author: Jenny Manseau is a Culinary Arts/Culinary Nutrition student and author of the blog Creative Cooking Gluten Free. Jenny created her website after being diagnosed in 2008 with Celiac Disease and takes many “regular” every day recipes and alters them to the gluten-free diet.

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