Recipe Corner- “Moussaka”

Written by Iris Foss

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Moussaka is a traditional Greek dish. Every family surely has their own version. I prefer the healthy version.

INGREDIENTS:

Meat sauce

2 pounds ground lamb or beef
1 chopped onion
4 crushed garlic cloves
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup of cooking wine
2 Tbsp or more of lemon juice
Pinch of salt to taste

Bechamel sauce

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
3 cups shredded Mozzerella cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

The moussaka

3 large peeled and sliced eggplants
1/2 cup salt
2-3 pealed and sliced potatoes
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Olive oil

Prepare the meat sauce

1 Heat and brown the ground meat. Drain all the grease. Add the onions about halfway into the browning process. Sprinkle salt over the meat and onions.

2 Once the meat is browned and the onions have softened, add the garlic, black pepper, oregano and tomato paste. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.

3 Add the red wine and mix well. Bring the sauce to a simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice. Mix well and taste. Set the sauce aside.

Prepare the potatoes and eggplants

4 Peel and slice the eggplant and the potatoes into 1/4 inch rounds.

5 Boil the potatoes in salted water for 5-8 minutes – you want them undercooked, but no longer crunchy. Drain and set aside.

6 To cook the eggplant, grill or fry the rounds using Olive oil. Transfer into paper towels and set aside.

Prepare the béchamel

7 Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until pale and smooth, 2 minutes. Still whisking constantly, add the milk and cook until thickened. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Let the sauce cool for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and Mozzerella cheese. W8hisk into the bechamel sauce until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish or casserole dish.

To assemble: Put half the eggplant and potato slices in the dish and cover with half the meat sauce. Top the sauce with the remaining eggplant and potato slices, and then the remaining meat sauce. Pour the bechamel over the top of the meat sauce and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over the top, place the dish on a baking sheet, and bake until browned and bubbly, 45 to 50 minutes. Top with fresh parsley or cilantro, if desired. Let cool for at least 20 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.

Why Bread Is More Dangerous Than it Looks (and how to choose wisely)

Written By Salina Jivani

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If you’re like most people, you’ve had a love-hate relationship with carbs at some point. And who can blame you? With all the dieticians out there keen on slinging mud on our hip-clinging friends, like rice, bread, and, yes, donuts, it’s tempting to completely banish these traitors from our lives. But if your worth the grain on your bread, you know that carbs are an essential part of any well balanced diet. And let’s be real: diets that are carb-restricted are doomed for failure at some point, because practically it’s not possible or healthy to go forever without these essential (and oh so yum) foods in our lives.

The trick to eating carbs is to select the healthy ones (yes, wave good bye to bagel’s frosted and sprinkled twin)—which can be especially difficult when it comes to one of America’s most necessary staples, if storms and power outages are anything to go by—bread. And with store-bought breads containing harmful ingredients while deceptively boasting their nutritional superiority over competitors’, it’s easy to see why they have a bad rap. After all, how can you trust a food that’s constantly under so much scrutiny?

But don’t give up hope. There’s a way to make sure you’re including this can-be-healthy food into your daily diets—while benefiting from its merits. To make sure you’re buying the healthiest most natural, nutrient-dense bread, we’ve compiled some important information you should consider the next time you find yourself browsing the bakery aisle.

Ingredients to avoid

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Let’s start with the no-nos. You may not give it much thought, but the bread most of us have lurking in our pantries has a ton of very bad, not so great ingredients. A quick skim of your bread packaging may reveal some of these unhealthy items:

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Soybean oil, corn oil
  • Corn starch,
  • Soy lecithin
  • Preservatives
  • Food coloring
  • Any terms you cannot pronounce—these typically sound more like names of chemicals that belong in a lab than whole foods you may find in the aisle of a grocery store.

Why are these ingredients bad for you? We’re glad you asked.

Of course, manufactured sugars are an obvious. Nothing good ever comes out of them and they’re certainly not healthy for you. Plus, even fake sugars are known to cause cancers and heart disease while others that operate under a cleverly named alias, like high fructose corn syrup, can cause health risks including weight gain, diabetes, and bad cholesterol.

Genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) like soybean oil, corn oil, corn starch, and soy lecithin can be detrimental to your health because the original forms from which these oils are derived often contain pesticides that are poisonous and can prove toxic when ingested.

Preservatives, which are often present in many breads and are sometimes listed simply as “preservatives” on the ingredients panel, can lead to long-term diseases like ADHD.

Even the simpler, seemingly harmless ingredients like food coloring or artificial flavors can lead to a development of allergies or asthma.

And of course the ingredients you can pronounce are usually the ones you should steer clear of the most, because these are the ones that are lab-manufactured, just like they sound, and can pose a whole slew of health issues including, but not limited to, cancers and tumors. (Think about it—you’re expecting your body to digest lab-devised chemicals. There’s no way that can be healthy!)

What you should look for

Now that you know what to avoid, let’s talk about what you should look for. Put simply, anything that is a real ingredient and is healthy for you gets a green checkmark. Examples include whole wheat, herbs, flaxseed, rice bran, yeast, hemp seeds…you get the drift. If it sounds like a real food your mom would encourage you to eat, it’s probably safe.

Best brands on the shelves

Now that we have all the good and the bad out of the way, let’s get to the fun stuff! Even though we’ve made that loaf in your pantry look as threatening as it did when the Atkins diet took the world by storm, let us reassure you that bread is and can still be a healthy carb. And the good news is, you don’t have to don an apron and cover yourself in flour from head-to-toe to avoid the adverse health effects of poorly choiced purchase—there are some great options right there on those super market shelves. That’s right, there’s hope. In fact, here are the brands that are top-rated by many trusted health advocates:

So don’t be afraid of the B word (bread, of course!). Just remember, an educated consumer is the best one

Fast food: The Death Culprit

Written By Salina Jivani of “The Great Word Nerd” blog

 

Calories have become all the rave. After McDonald’s made news on multiple occasions for its unhealthy, obesity-inducing meals, and Jared from Subway stepped out, dwarfed by his old fat jeans, claiming that “eating fresh” had helped him lose weight equivalent to that of a grown adult, it’s as though a cyclone of frenzy seized the fast food industry and calorie counts started popping up on drive through menus and nutritional fact sheets everywhere. But don’t be fooled. Although many restaurants are more calorie conscious and aim to make meals more calorie friendly, that doesn’t mean the foods they offer are any healthier for you to consume. In fact, excessive calories are just one thin layer among many others of why you should avoid fast foods like the plague.

 

High Sodium– If you know anything about eating healthy, you know that keeping the salt shaker at bay is a good thing. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), about nine out of every 10 adults consume too much sodium, of which the AHA recommends no more than 1500 milligrams per day. Eat a single meal at a fast food restaurant of your choice and you’re likely to deplete your entire day’s worth of recommended sodium. One serving of Taco Bell’s volcano nachos (1650 milligrams) or a single serving of McDonald’s Big Breakfast with hotcakes (2260 milligrams) and you’re already over the recommended amount. Keeping that level of consumption up with even the slightest bit of regularity and you’ll make yourself infinitely more prone to fatal health concerns, including stroke, headaches, high blood pressure, kidney disease, stomach cancer, and heart failure, to name a few.

fries

 

Fake ingredients- When you eat, you want to make sure you’re nourishing your body and consuming something that is healthful. After all, your body will work hard for you as long as you give it the means to do so. But many fast food restaurants don’t have the prized nutrients or vitamins your body craves. In fact, the beef used by many restaurants is not 100% real meat–nowhere even close to that percentage. According to one study, approximately 50% of beef patties are composed of water and only between 2.1%-14.8% of the entire patty is actually real. The remaining 35%-48% is composed of chemical fillers and preservatives, which basically means that on a more favorable scale, 15% of what you ingest is real, nutritional food. The remaining 85%? Fake, lab-tested chemicals. Which brings us to our next point.

 

Low nutrition value–  Of course if you’re not eating real food, you can’t expect your body to extract real nutrients from those foods. And if you’re like the majority of Americans who depend on fast food restaurants for at least half their meals during the week, you’re doing more harm than good by depriving your body of vitamins and minerals that are essential to good health and longevity. The ratio of calories to nutrient density in fast foods is baffling. In other words, eating a fast food meal pretty much means that all you’re feeding your body are harmful chemicals and a ton of extra calories with no true nutritional value to sweeten the deal.

pizza

 

Food safety-  You wouldn’t ever entertain the thought of eating silly putty for lunch, would you? Opt for chicken nuggets from most fast food restaurants, and it’s likely that you’ll be getting a good dose of dimethylpolysiloxane—the exact chemical found in putty. In fact, according to several studies, the chicken contained in nuggets are not really even meat, but made from a sticky substance created from ground carcass and processed chicken bones. Not scared? Consider this: the chicken nuggets at many restaurants contain a chemical preservative called tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), which safeguards foods from discoloration. The downside is that while your food will appear fresh, fatal effects of TBHQ in rats include tumors and death.

 

So the next time you decide you’re too lazy to pack a good ol’ homemade brown-bag lunch, think about what you’re sacrificing at the cost of convenience. Although an occasional meal here and there at a local joint likely won’t harm you, it’s always a good idea to prepare home cooked meals in advance so that you’re not left tempted to turn that occasional fast food visit into a regular habit. Besides, who doesn’t want to save some money and avoid a ton of unnecessary calories?

All Stressed Out

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All Stressed OUT!! Healthy eating combined with natural supplements can help reduce stress. 70% of Americans are on some type of prescription drug for stress. We have to look for more natural ways to cope with stressors in our lives.  A healthy diet, exercise, coping skills and natural supplements are a huge way to reprogram your body to deal with those outside stressors. Studies have shown that eating a healthy diet filled with protein and complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, such as oatmeal, quinoa and whole grain cereals, can help you keep a healthy blood glucose level. This will help you not feel that drop in energy throughout the day. Drinking  plenty of water and eating lots of fruits and vegetables will also help maintain an even chemical balance and mood. The key is a balance of healthy foods that help you feel full longer and provide the body with a usable source of protein and nutrition. Confianza will allow you to trade your traditional anti-depressant for a more natural approach. This is made  with adaptogenic herbs to improve mental focus and concentration and help the body cope with physical stress. Along with healthy eating and exercise, this will help to restore and maintain the bodies balance.

Written by – Robin Courtney www.healthyrobin.com WrapGirl01-IG Healthy Robin Wellness Group- FB

Benefits of Alkaline and PH Balanced Body

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Benefits of an Alkaline & PH balanced body: If your body is not alkaline or at a healthy PH level then it is imbalanced and begins to suffer from chronic diseases. What we eat and drink has a direct impact on your bodies balance. The symptoms can be from runny nose, fatigue, a skin breakout, or a slight case of irritable bowel syndrome. Alkaline foods range from almonds, avacados, blueberry, coconut oil, collard greens, coffee, kale, sweet potato & tofu just to name a few. One way to combine all of the nutrients of these fruits and veggies and alkaline water is Greens from It Works. Each packet or scoop provide 8 powerful servings of Fruits and Vegetables and 38 Key Herbs, and it will Alkaline and balance your bodies PH and prepares your body to lose weight and make healthy changes! 10 Benefits of Having a Balanced Body PH include: more elastic skin, youthfulness, less arthritis, suffer from fewer colds, less headaches and flu viruses, deeper more restful sleep, mental alertness, abundant physical energy, and good digestion.

Written By: Robin Courtney

www.healthyrobin.com

Healthy Robin Wellness Group – FB WrapGirl01- IG