Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Truvani’s new immune-supporting supplement is here and it’s called Under The Weather

When I was a kid, my mom used to make a special tea for me whenever I was feeling “under the weather”.

It wasn’t like any normal tea that you’d buy at the grocery store. It was more like an elixir because it was filled with many different herbs that she’d pick up from the Indian market.

It felt so soothing to drink and always made me feel better. But even though she’d make her tea with all the love in the world, I didn’t truly appreciate it until I started learning about the ingredients in my food. 

You see, some of the ingredients she used like ginger are remarkable ingredients that have been used for centuries to support overall wellness.

This got me thinking…

While I’d love to make homemade elixirs with fresh ingredients from the farmers market, I’m a working mom and sometimes I just don’t have the time.

This is why I’m happy to introduce you to our newest product at Truvani: Under The Weather

It is made with a blend of organic berries, herbs, and roots that support your immune system, which we can all use this time of year!

This is important even if you’re eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise and sleep. Because if you’re like me, even with the best intentions things don’t always go according to plan…

Work. Travel. Family. Holidays. Weather Changes.

These things pull us out of routine, and also take a toll on our immune system.

That’s why I take this supplement at the first sign of feeling ‘not myself’ and also during seasonal changes, when I travel, or when life feels extra stressful. “Under The Weather” is like having an abundant garden of botanicals used for centuries in an easy-to-swallow tablet.

When you look at the ingredient label, you’ll see how remarkable it is. First, you’ll notice what we DON’T include in the product…

You won’t find Synthetic Vitamins, Artificial Flavors, “Natural” Flavors, Artificial Colors or Preservatives. We keep it simple.

Second, you’ll notice it’s made with nutrient-dense ingredients…

Some companies blend together many different superfoods – and then lace their products with synthetic vitamins and minerals to make it appear more nutrient-dense on the label. These supplements are just a sprinkle of this and a sprinkle of that without enough of anything to be effective. In reality, much of the nutrition doesn’t actually come from the fruits and vegetables in the product… it comes from the synthetic vitamins and minerals that are added to the product.

We don’t do that at Truvani. We keep it simple and use nutrient-dense, real food ingredients.

We set out to create a properly dosed immune-supporting botanical blend with research-backed ingredients… all in tablet form.

It wasn’t easy – but we finally did it.

So, click here to learn more about “Under The Weather” and how it can help you.

I look forward to hearing what you think.

Xo,

Vani

P.S. As a thank you for giving Truvani’s new Under The Weather Immune Supporting Supplement a try in your health routine…

You’ll receive a brand new, digital guide complete with 5 delicious, immune supporting recipes.

And just in time for the hectic holidays!

Head here to snag yours. 

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10 Healthy Packaged Foods For Kids

Ideally Birch + Mazen eat lots of fresh real foods. Fresh fruits, whole grains, dairy, vegetables (I try!), proteins. I give hem both whole foods and mixed foods leftovers from our dinners. I always try to use up the fresh foods before reaching for freezer or pantry backups. First because I want to use up what could spoil but second because I believe fresh food is best. That said, sometimes the fresh food is running low and the kids still have to be fed! These are 10 healthy packaged foods for kids that I rely on when my fridge is looking bare.

Healthy Packaged Foods For Kids

1 + 2 // Frozen waffles and whole wheat mini pancakes.

Birch often has these for breakfast on days when I don’t have a baked good (like oatmeal cookies or muffins!) prepared and/or we’re low on bread for toast. He LOVES them both!

3 // Frozen Spinach Pizza

This has been a staple for Mazen for years when I need a kid dinner like when we have a babysitter. I love that it has spinach and is single serving (no leftovers) and M is thrilled any night he gets to have one. I think Birch is almost ready to try it himself in tiny cut-up bites. (Warning: it does give kids garlic breath!)

4 // Chicken nuggets.

Fact: This is either the first or second time in my life my freezer has had chicken nuggets in it! Not because I am holier than thou but because Mazen has just never been a big nugget eater. And I haven’t found one I like! A friend recommended this brand to me and it has some pureed veggies and whole grains for a little boost. I cook these in the microwave for Birch if we need a fast lunch protein.

5 // Ready Pasta

I found this at Wegmans (most of the foods in this post are from Whole Foods). It’s just pre-cooked and vacuum packed pasta that you heat in the microwave. It was kind of amazing how fast the pasta was ready with not a dish to do! I added butter and parmesan and will also try pesto soon.

6 // Canned Salmon

I can’t say that Birch LOVES it, but it’s been nice to flake onto his tray, especially if I’m making a little salmon salad for myself!

7-8 // Freeze Dried Fruits + Veg

Another tip from a friend are freeze dried fruits. I’ve always loved these pea pods for Mazen, and Birch is just old enough to eat them. I also love those peanut butter bombas from Whole Foods. We also do fruit cups with soft pears or peaches if we’re out of fresh fruit.

9 // Soft Bars

“Nutrigrain” style for Birch because he’s not quite ready for nuts. These are good in a pinch for a snack or on the go.

10 // Pouches

Of course – the toddler staple. Birch can crunch one in less than one minute. These are also a our go-to if I’m eating lunch or dinner away from home and want to make sure I have something he can eat. (Say, if we’re going to a party where I’ll find some finger foods). He eats at least one pouch a day.

Please share some of your favorites!

I find that mom-to-mom recommendations are the best way to get more ideas!

More Posts On Feeding Kids

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Ribeye Roast + A Huge Holiday Giveaway

Ribeye steaks get lots of love, but there’s something about a ribeye roast that makes for an unforgettable meal. Tender, juicy, marbled to perfection, it’s a main course that’s perfect for anytime, but especially a holiday table.

And we went for the best with this recipe—specifically a ButcherBox grass-fed ribeye roast. Just a few minutes of prep the night before and five ingredients bring out the premium taste of this cut with a beautifully roasted and garnished presentation to wow the guests.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together and rub over the ribeye roast. Wrap the roast in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 225°F. Discarding the plastic wrap, place the roast on a wire rack set over a sheet pan. Season the roast with additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring to room temperature (about 30-40 minutes).

Place the roast on the oven center rack and cook for 90 minutes (or until thermometer inserted into thickest part reads 110 ºF).

Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

About 40 minutes before serving, preheat the oven to 425°F. For medium-rare, cook the roast for 20 more minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part reads 125°F.

Let the roast rest again for 20 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestion: Serve with our chimichurri sauce for big and bright flavor.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 378
  • Net Carbs: 2.1 grams
  • Total Carbs: 2.5 grams
  • Fat: 22.4 grams
  • Protein: 40 grams

And Now For the Giveaway…

I’ve teamed up with my friends at ButcherBox for a delicious holiday giveaway you don’t want to miss. Imagine heritage breed turkey, juicy ham, ribeye roast, leg of lamb, plus a whole beef tenderloin on your holiday table? Do I have your attention now? To make those meaty dishes even better, I’m throwing in a perfect holiday collection of Primal Kitchen® dressings and marinades, sauces, oils, and more. That’s over $250 worth (per winner) of delicious Primal goodies for your holiday table!

Most of you have heard me talk about ButcherBox before, so you know they’re my favorite source of 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, and wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon. Each month, ButcherBox curates a one-of-a-kind selection of the healthiest, tastiest meats, humanely raised and free of antibiotics and hormones. Their meat is never taken from feedlots. That’s peace of mind and top-notch quality—not to mention excellent eating.

To Enter:

1. Follow @marksdailyapple, @primalkitchenfoods & @butcher_box on Instagram.
2. Enter your email on the giveaway entry page (click here).

I’ll be choosing a total of 4 winners each who will win their very own ButcherBox ($130 value) + $130 in Primal Kitchen products!

Fine Print: Open to U.S only. Must be 18 years or older to win. The winners be announced and contacted on November 21st.

Good luck, everyone!

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Heritage Turkey and Mashed Parsnips

Thanksgiving is only a couple weeks away and in the United States this means one thing: turkey. Few other foods seem to dominate a holiday like this bird with a mind-boggling demand of 45+ million turkeys each Thanksgiving). Last week we offered a Primalized update—and upgrade—to the traditional pumpkin pie. This week we thought we’d whip up recipes for both the main event—the bird itself—and a lower carb alternative to its usual mashed potato pairing with a delicious and equally creamy accompaniment: mashed parsnips.

Beginning in the 1960s grocery stores started selling a breed of bigger, plumper turkeys known as Broad-Breasted Whites. This turkey is bred for one main reason: it’s cheap to raise, primarily because it’s genetically modified to grow quickly. Turkey producers can maximize their profits and provide what they think consumers want: birds with more white meat. But the thing is, all that white meat makes a turkey cook and taste different. In fact, it is probably Broad-Breasted Whites (not your mother’s cooking skills) that are to blame for decades of dry, flavorless Thanksgiving turkeys. Even worse than dry meat, the genetic modifications to Broad-Breasted Whites leave them unable to fly or reproduce without artificial insemination.

By far, the Broad-Breasted White is the dominant breed of turkey sold in grocery stores. In the 1990s, it almost put other breeds of turkey into extinction. Luckily, organizations and turkey producers dedicated to preserving culinary heritage and to fighting against industrialized food production have been diligently protecting natural breeds of turkeys that have been around since our forefathers. Collectively, these breeds of turkeys with colorful names like Bourbon Red, Standard Bronze and Narragansett are known as Heritage turkeys. In recent years, as consumers have become more interested in where and how their food is grown, Heritage turkeys are enjoying a surge in popularity.

Heritage turkeys are harder to find and more expensive to buy, ranging from $6.00-$12.00/pound, because they are more expensive to raise, taking up to 30 weeks to grow to close to 30 pounds, while a Broad-Breasted White can reach that weight in just 18 weeks. Why splurge on a Heritage turkey? Heritage turkeys have more fat and more dark meat, which helps keep the meat moist while cooking. The meat has a richer, heavier texture and more intense flavor, rich and robust and slightly game—what a “real” turkey is supposed to taste like.

Heritage turkeys can be bought from some local butchers and from Whole Foods Markets. Heritage Foods and Local Harvest ship directly to consumers, but their prices are higher than most retail stores. Buying a Heritage turkey is like casting a vote for humanely, naturally raised animals and for the farmers who are putting a premium on healthy, safe, natural food.

And, yes, a heritage breed turkey is ideal, but we’re never in favor of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. (This is a holiday after all, and no one wants to disappoint Grandma by serving steak.) Other farms who aren’t necessarily raising heritage breeds are adhering to organic feed and humane-raised standards. Look for information on the turkey packaging and opt for the least/cleanest ingredients and best quality within your budget. If you have access to a local farm or farmers market, check with the farms to see what they have available…you may be surprised at how affordable some of them are!

Note: If you’re cooking a pastured/heritage breed turkey, they are leaner and will benefit from a lower cooking temperature like 325 degrees Fahrenheit, while you can get away with 350 or even 375 degrees with conventional turkeys.

Invest in a meat thermometer that has a steel probe so it is always keeping track of the internal temperature of the meat, even when you walk away.

The amount of ingredients for the herb butter may vary based on the size of your turkey. Feel free to scale the recipe up or down as needed.

Turkey carcasses make delicious stocks and soups! If you choose to make turkey stock or bone broth, pick off all meat from the turkey carcasses prior to making stock to prevent the meat from getting rubbery.

We use parsnips as a side, but you can also use other root vegetables or mix different root vegetables together. For variety, try turnips, rutabagas, celery root, potatoes or sweet potatoes!

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole turkey, ours was around 12 lbs.
  • 5 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1.5 Tbsp. chopped rosemary
  • 1.5 Tbsp. chopped thyme
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 4 lbs. parsnips
  • ½ cup coconut milk (you can also use cream or your favorite milk substitute)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

For the turkey: Remove any innards from the turkey and pat it dry on top of a roasting pan with a rack or a large sheet pan with a cooking rack. If you have time, you can dry brine the turkey by sprinkling the turkey skin all over with salt and pepper and allowing the turkey to rest in the pan uncovered overnight in the fridge. This will result in delicious, crispy skin later on. If you choose not to do this, continue right away to the next step.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees for pasture-raised/heritage breed birds and 350 for regular turkeys. In a bowl, whisk the butter, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper together (if you did a dry brine with the salt and pepper already, omit the salt and pepper from the butter). Rub the herb butter all over the outside of the turkey. If you’d like, you can also add a couple pats of butter under the skin on the breasts of the turkey. If you are using a thermometer probe, place it in the thickest part of the breast and set the desired temperature for 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the turkey in the oven on the lowest oven rack for about one hour, then check the skin. If the skin is beginning to brown too much, you can place a foil tent over the breasts but it shouldn’t be necessary. Pastured birds can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes per pound to cook, while regular turkeys can take 15-20 minutes. The best way to ensure the turkey is cooked properly is to use a meat thermometer. If you do not have a thermometer probe, check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast and thigh around the 1.5 hour mark and go from there.

Once the thermometer reaches the desired temperature, remove the turkey from the oven and tent it with foil. Allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes. Carve the turkey and pour any reserved juices on top.

For the parsnips: Peel the parsnips and cut them into rounds. Place them in a pot and fill with 3-4 cups of water, or just enough that the parsnip rounds are covered. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat and cover the pot. Reduce the heat slightly and allow the parsnips to simmer for around 10-15 minutes, or until just tender but not mushy.

Drain the water and pour the parsnips in a food processor along with the coconut milk, butter, salt and pepper. Process until the parsnips reach your desired consistency. Alternatively, you can mash the parsnips using a potato masher. Top the parsnips with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of black pepper.

Nutritional Information

(Note: Turkey nutrition will vary based on size and dark or light meat. See below for nutrition info for 1/8 of the parsnip recipe):

  • Calories: 217
  • Total Carbs: 41 grams
  • Net Carbs: 30 grams
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams

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Long Weekend Recap + 24 Days of Togetherness

Hi, guys! I hope you had a nice long weekend!

Our weekend was nice – a mix of friends and fun + relaxation and the usual weekend chores. I love being busy on the weekend, but I also enjoy the downtime as well. There’s just something so soothing about starting the week with a fridge full of food and all of the laundry cleaned, folded, and put away. Ok, well, the putting-away-the-laundry thing doesn’t happen every week, but it did this time! 🙂

Friday night, we went out to dinner at CAVA. We’re still obsessed, especially since Quinn loves the kid’s meal and we can order ahead on the app, which makes life 8 zillion times easier. Plus, CAVA is just so darn delicious. I really could eat it everyday and probably not get sick of it!

Saturday night, Mal and I went out to dinner at Riva with friends. We sat at the back bar, which is super cute and, oh, so cozy for the colder winter months. Dinner was absolutely delicious. We ordered the mussels and meatballs to share, and then I had the salmon with gnocchi and roasted carrots as my entree. Mmm!

After dinner, we headed back to our friends’ house for a game night, which, to our surprise, included a gender reveal! Our friends bought a small cake with the big reveal inside – it’s a girl! Mal and I were so pumped to be included in our friends’ special moment! 🙂

Meanwhile at home, Quinn was making Grandma’s special chocolate chip cookies with Papi and Lori, who volunteered their babysitting services for the night. Not paying for a babysitter = the best! Mal and I joke it’s like a half price night out! 🙂

On Sunday morning, Mal and I did the ol’ kid switcheroo for Orangetheory. He went to the 9:00 AM class, and I took the 10:15 AM, so we “handed off” Qman between classes.

I’m actually really loving Orangetheory lately. I’m getting so much faster and stronger on the treadmill, and the progress that I’m seeing is so motivating. I’m only going to two classes per week, but I’ve seriously considered increasing my membership. My only reservation is possibly getting injured. Running and overuse injuries are all too common for me. Maybe I shouldn’t push my luck?

Yesterday included some morning errands and then Quinn had a playdate with one of our neighbors. Our neighborhood has a lot of kids his age, so it’s nice we’re starting to get to know the families better to coordinate playdates and other activities.

I also spent sometime yesterday searching for recipes for Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving. We’re bringing an appetizer and dessert to each celebration, so I’m leaning toward this oldie, but goodie (and easy!) Roasted Grape Baked Brie Crescent Ring and a Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie, which is gluten- and egg-free, so I’ll be able to enjoy it too! 🙂 If you want the recipe, just drop your email here, and I’ll send you the recipe!

Question of the Day

What are you making for Friendsgiving/Thanksgiving? 

P.S. It’s that time of year again! Our annual 24 Days of Togetherness is kicking off in just a couple of weeks. If you want your free PDF, just sign up here, and you’ll receive it in your inbox to print when you’re ready!

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Citrus Curry Farro Salad

This citrus curry farro salad is a great lunch staple to make on prep day. Orange zest, currants, and roasted pistachios combine with hearty farro, curry-spiced sweet potatoes and fresh herbs for a mix of flavors you won’t be able to forget!

Citrus Curry Farro Salad

You have seen me eat this citrus curry farro salad with sweet potatoes many times! It’s my favorite dish on the Plenty menus. I insisted Della share the recipe with you all! She is a “little of this, little of that” naturally intuitive chef who doesn’t write things down. So I followed her around my kitchen one morning, taking notes and writing the recipe in detail for you guys. There are a few steps to do at once (cook farro, roast sweet potatoes, make dressing) but the salad itself comes together so fast. And this is definitely one of those “gets better the next day” recipes you’ll be able to enjoy all week!

Orange + Spices + Zest + Herbs

You know how I’m big on a variety of flavors and textures all in one bite? This salad has it all: the farro is chewy, the sweet potatoes fluffy, the currants a little sweet, the pistachios crunchy and salty, the orange dressing and fresh herbs bright.

How To Enjoy

This recipe makes a lot – 6-8 servings. I can have a cereal sized portion of this salad for lunch and feel full. We usually add chicken on top to turn it into a dinner entree. And mixed with some kale it makes a great side salad as well. It would make a great addition to a vegetarian dinner party or Thanksgiving table as well!

How To Make It

1 // Cook farro. I watched Della salt her water and I have been using way too little salt for my pasta water! You know how they say to “use enough to taste like the ocean”? Well who tastes boiling water! Della used about 1/4 cup of kosher salt, and the farro was perfectly seasoned when it was done.

2 // Roast sweet potatoes. Seasoned with curry, smoked paprika, and cumin, these sweet potatoes are great alone too! Crank up your oven to 450 degrees and be sure to put some olive oil ON the pan before adding them so they don’t stick.

3 // Make the dressing. Zest FTW! I usually make my dressings in a mason jar and shake it like Taylor Swift, but a stick blender is ideal here to really emulsify the dressing, especially since there is no mustard.

TIP: You’ll likely have extra dressing, so freeze it in an ice cube tray!

Citrus Curry Farro Salad

This farro salad with sweet potatoes and orange vinaigrette is a great lunch staple to make on prep day. Orange zest, currants, and roasted pistachios combine with hearty farro, curry-spiced sweet potatoes and fresh herbs for a mix of flavors you won’t be able to forget!

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1.5 cups dry farro
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil (2 for sheets and 2 for potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup roasted pistachios
  • 3/4 cup cilantro (chopped (yes that’s a lot!))

For the dressing

  • 1 naval oranges
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp champagne or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Bring a pot of very salty water to boil, add farro, and cook in simmer partially covered for about 30-35 minutes, until farro reaches your desired firmness. Drain and rinse.
  3. Drizzle a 1 tbsp olive oil on each of two baking sheets. Spread potatoes evenly between sheets. Sprinkle with curry powder, paprika, cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add remaining 2 tbsp olive oil to each sheet. Massage spices and seasonings into potatoes. Bake for 20 minutes, switching racks halfway through.
  4. For the dressing: Zest and juice both oranges into a wide mouth mason jar. Add honey, vinegar and paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Add olive oil. Use a stick blender (ideally) or shake a LOT to emulsify. Makes two cups of dressing.
  5. In a large bowl, combine farro, sweet potatoes, currants, pistachios, and cilantro. Toss with dressing.

Other Make-Ahead Salads

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Cajun Seasoning Recipe

This Cajun seasoning recipe is a great replacement for the store-bought stuff and a great way to add some southern flare to your home cooking!

The truth is, manufacturers add all kinds of weird and… Read more →



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