Tag Archives: produce

Healthy Butter Lettuce Recipes

Healthy Butter Lettuce Recipes

Fresh produce is coming back into season for spring. Lighten up your meals this week with versatile, healthy butter lettuce recipes perfect for lunches on the go.

First up is a Simple Butter Lettuce Salad that’s perfect as a side for lunch or dinner.

Simple Butter Lettuce Salad
Image and Recipe via The Modern Proper

 

Whip up these easy and light Buffalo Chickpea Lettuce Wraps for a meatless meal.

Buffalo Chickpea Lettuce Wraps + Video

 

Green Dragon Apple Salad with Butter Lettuce, Blue Cheese Crumbles, and Walnuts is a perfect lunch.

Green Dragon Apple Salad with Butter Lettuce, Blue Cheese Crumbles, and Walnuts
Image and Recipe via Louise Mellor

 

Korean Barbecue Pork Lettuce Wraps are a hearty and filling dinner your family will love to assemble.

Korean Barbecue Pork Lettuce Wraps
Image and Recipe via Use Real Butter

 

Save this Grilled Butter Lettuce with Buttermilk Chive Dressing for summer get-togethers.

Grilled Butter Lettuce with Buttermilk Chive Dressing
Image and Recipe via Fine Cooking

 

Crunchy BBQ Chickpea Lettuce Wraps are a light way to enjoy your favorite flavors.

Crunchy BBQ Chickpea Lettuce Wraps.

 

This Favorite Green Salad is a perfect staple to serve with all your favorite spring dishes.

Favorite Green Salad
Image and Recipe via This Healthy Table

National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month

National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month

It’s National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, and with in-season summer fruits and veggies and grilling season upon us, it’s time to make them a part of healthy meals.

First up, Grilled Veggie Kababs that are perfect with whatever you throw on the grill.

Grilled Veggie Kebabs with Creamer Potatoes & Tofu

Whip up this Loaded Veggie Salad with Chickpeas and Black Beans for a picnic.

Loaded Veggie Salad with Chickpeas and Black Beans Image and Recipe via Pip and Ebby

 

Strawberry Mango Chia Popsicles will be a great cool treat all summer long.

Strawberry Mango Chia Popsicles

This Grilled Hawaiian BBQ Chicken in Foil is an easy, all-in-one summer dinner.

Grilled Hawaiian Barbecue Chicken in Foil

Make this 4-Ingredient Fruit Salad Pineapple Boat for an impressive and easy party dish.

4-Ingredient Fruit Salad Platter and a Pineapple Boat

Light Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad will be delicious at your summer BBQs.

Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
Image and Recipe via Salt & Lavender

 

Easy Balsamic Grilled Vegetables with Goat Cheese will be your new go-to side dish.

Balsamic Grilled VegetablesImage and Recipe via NeighborFood

National Salsa Month

National Salsa Month Recipes

It’s National Salsa Month, which is a great way to sneak in fruits and veggies to snacks and wraps or on top of your dinner.

First up, try this delicious Homemade Salsa Verde.

Homemade Salsa Verde (Tomatillo Salsa)

Eat this Mediterranean Salsa with pita bread for a hearty snack.

Mediterranean Salsa

Use your favorite summer fruit in this savory Watermelon Salsa.

Watermelon Salsa

Make Avocado Salsa instead of guac to go with your weeknight tacos.

Avocado Salsa
Image and Recipe via Closet Cooking

 

This Fresh Strawberry Salsa mixes sweet and savory in-season produce.

5 Ingredient Strawberry Salsa

This filling Black Bean Salsa with rice and chicken makes a perfect burrito bowl.

Black Bean Salsa

This tropical Pineapple Salsa is a tasty topping for your grilled fish.

Pineapple Salsa

Grocery Shopping Fresh

Grocery Shopping Like a Pro

Even after you’ve gotten ready to head to the store, grocery shopping on a budget for healthy meals can be hard. But there are some things you can do to make it easier.

Stock Your Pantry

Keeping your kitchen stocked with certain key things can make cooking easy. This list has some items that are perfect for this. And this article has some healthy foods perfect for your pantry that only cost about $2.

Add one item that won’t go bad, like a spice, grain, beans, or frozen veggies to your cart each shopping trip to help you build your pantry without dropping a lot of money at once. (These are also good things to buy in bulk when they’re on sale if you have space to store them.)

Having this stocked pantry will help you throw together meals fast, help you save on packaged or premade meals you might’ve grabbed in a hurry, and make shopping easier.

Choosing Your Store

Choosing where you shop can also help you save. Besides the grocery store, some great places to find good deals are:

  • Ethnic markets
  • Dollar stores
  • Retail supercenters
  • Wholesale clubs
  • Farmers markets

At the Store

Once you’re at the store, you should try to shop the outer edge of it as much as possible. The outer edge usually has the fresh produce, like fruits and veggies, meat, dairy, bread, and frozen food. It’s typically the inner aisles that are full of boxed and processed foods.

Fruits & Veggies

It’s recommended that you eat 5 servings of veggies a day, so it’s important to really use that part of the store. With that in mind, fruits and veggies, fresh or frozen, should take up about a third of your cart on each shopping trip.

  • Shop in season 

At the farmers market, you have to buy what’s in season, but at the grocery store, there are lots of choices. But when you buy what’s in season, you can save a lot, and your food will be the tastiest and freshest it can be. This list can help you find what’s in season when.

  • Buy bags at the right time

With certain go-to things your family will always use, like apples, oranges, potatoes, and onions, buying them in the big bags when they’re in season can help you save even more.

  • Stock up on canned and frozen fruits and veggies

Canned and frozen fruits and veggies are picked while they’re in season and tasting best, and they’re good for you, too. So instead of buying fresh peas when they’re not in season, stock up on frozen ones to save and get the best flavor. Plus, they last much longer.

Look for frozen veggies without added sauces or butter. Choose canned fruit in 100% fruit juice and veggies with “low-sodium” or “no salt added.”

Canned veggies and broths are perfect for easy soups and stews, and canned fruit makes great fruit salad and snacks for the kids.

Packaged Goods

Avoid a lot of the packaged and processed foods in the center of the store. Cookies, candy, chips, crackers, and soda are all high in things you don’t want, like sugar, salt, and bad fats, and low in things like protein and nutrients. They’re also expensive.

  • Look for whole grains

Be careful you don’t get fooled by things that just call out wheat. Instead, look for whole grains and whole-grain breads.

  • Find high-protein foods besides meat

Yogurt and cheeses are great sources of protein, as are beans and other legumes, which you can find dried or canned.

  • Be smart about cereal

Cereals are one of the top foods for hidden sugar. Look for ones with little or no sugar. You can always add honey to flavor it in the bowl. Also look for cereals high in fiber to start your day right.

  • Try new things in the bulk aisle

If you want to try a new grain, nut, or dried fruit, the bulk aisle with bins is a great way to taste test. Scoop out a small bag for your family to taste before buying bigger servings.

Shopping Tips

Make the most of your trip by paying attention to how your store organizes things, their price tags, and food labels.

  • Don’t shop at eye level

Stores oftentimes stock the most expensive things right where they’ll catch your eye. Looking at the upper and lower shelves can help you find the best deal.

  • Grab from the back

Stores also stock from the back, putting newer things behind the older ones. Grabbing from the back gets you fresher food with better expiration dates, so your food will be good for longer.

  • Look for store brands

Many stores have their own brands of items, and in most cases, you’ll get the exact same or very similar thing at a much better price.

  • Read the label

Reading the nutrition label can tell you a lot about what’s in a food, if it’s good for you, and help you choose between brands.

  • Pay attention to serving sizes

Some things might seem good for you until you check the serving size. Sometimes the serving size is much smaller than what you’d actually eat in a sitting, which makes the numbers on the label look better.

  • Learn how to read unit price on the price tag

Unit price tells you how much something costs per pound, ounce, quart, or other unit of measure. It can tell you which brands are the most affordable. This guide can help you read or calculate unit price.

  • Have a calculator handy

Whether it’s on your phone or you bring a small calculator along to the store, having one on hand can make it easy to compare labels and costs.

Up Next:

Learn how to read and make sense of nutrition labels to get the most out of your food.

Appreciating Your Produce in Spring Salads

Healthy Spring Salads

This week in food, we featured spring salads that will help you use all those in-season spring and summer veggies.

First up is the Salmon Summer Loving All-In Salad that’s truly an all-in-one meal.

Salmon Summer Loving All-In Salad
Image and Recipe via From The Kitchen

 

Whip up this Salad with Peas, Potatoes, Shallots, and Creamy Dill Dressing for an appetizer.

a real mess of peas

 

Use up all the veggies in your fridge with this light and easy Raw Summer Salad.

Raw Summer Salad
Image and Recipe via What’s Gaby Cooking

 

Make unique Chili Lime Cucumber Noodles on Salted Watermelon with Mint and Basil.

chili lime cucumber noodles on salted watermelon w/ mint + basil

 

This Green Salad with Edible Flowers is the perfect way to wow dinner guests.

Green Salad with Edible Flowers
Image and Recipe via Martha Stewart

 

Try Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Vegetable Salad with Garlicky Orange Tahini Dressing.

shredded brussels sprouts + fall vegetable salad w/ garlicky orange tahini dressing

 

This Kale Citrus Salad is the perfect balance of sweet, fresh, and sour.

Kale Citrus Salad

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Relaxing Against Stress in Chicago

My Healthy Journey: Spring Cleaning Your Life

This last year has been a long and busy one, and I’m going to be pretty honest when I say I’m exhausted, filled with stress, and not feeling very healthy. The good news is that while I feel that way, it’s not entirely true.

I started working a lot of overtime last May, and it didn’t end until December. And even when I stopped working extra, I was still very busy when I was on the clock.

More than 46% of Americans’ workplace stress is caused by their workload, so I know I’m not alone in putting stress on myself to get things done. And when your levels of this kind of stress get too high, you’re more likely to develop high blood pressure, heart attacks, and other disorders, according to The American Institute of Stress.

Then, in February, I started packing to move again. I tried my best to declutter my stuff. (I donated a lot of old clothes and tossed any traces of college notebooks and many unnecessary knick-knacks. And after moving all my books, I’m once again wondering if a Kindle is the way to go, but you just can’t replace the smell of physical books!)

From there, my pup and I moved into my friend’s apartment, where we’ve gained the company of this gorgeous (and crazy) puppy.

Quinn, Our New Friend

So you could say that I’m probably suffering from one problem that’s causing that exhaustion: stress, stress, and more stress.

The good news is I’ve been taking steps to fight it.

First, my boss and I worked out an arrangement where I get to work from home on some days. Not only does this make eating healthy easier (I don’t have to be as prepared in advance) and allows me to document my food on our Instagram any day of the week, but it also lets me have a few days a week that I know will be calm(er). No matter how crazy things online get, I’m sitting in my own bed with my best stress-buster, Tootsie, by my side.

Tootsie By My Side
I mean, just look at that face.

My friend is also a certified physical trainer, so, now hold your breath on this one… I’ve also been going to the gym! *gasp*

I know, it’s been building to this for over a year, and finally, I’m a pretty regular gym-goer.

The first day, I was shocked by how weak I’d really become (doing 10 real pushups was really hard), and I’ve had a number of realizations about how pullups make me hate everything. The first few weeks, I was so sore I could barely stand.

But I’ve finally hit a groove. Some days I run, others I’ve been focusing on simple weight training, mostly using body-weight exercises. And, I’m not sore all the time anymore, so we’re making progress!

As spring has rolled in, I’ve also been getting out with those lovely dogs more often to the park across the street. And even better, I’ve been taking full advantage of all that spring produce starting to show up at the grocery store.

Rally, our online wellness tool, has a mission that has you focus on fruits and veggies, which I’ve been working toward accomplishing. Essentially, you try to cover at least half of your plate with fruits or veggies at least twice a day. (Follow me on Instagram to see how I’m trying to work in more fruits and veggies.)

And most importantly, I took a short break. The American Psychological Association has some great ideas to help you bust up your workplace stress, including taking time to recharge.

I recharged by going to Chicago, where I ate some of my favorite food, like Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes, Eataly, and Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill.

Chicken Tacos at Frontera Grill
Best guac ever, chicken tacos, and black beans with plantains so good they will unleash your hidden love of plantains, all at Frontera Grill.

And I visited the Van Gogh art exhibit and Dylan’s Candy Bar, did a little shopping, and saw a wonderful live concert at the Chicago Theatre.

Chicago Theatre
(Son Little opening for Leon Bridges, if you’re curious.)

And how am I maintaining my sanity the rest of the time? I’ve been:

Scarf for My Sister-in-Law

  • Trying to work more fruit into breakfast and brunch

Fruit-Filled Brunch!

  • Focusing on salads and, pretty regularly, tacos inspired by those amazing ones from Frontera Grill (Just so you know, they have great seasoning packets available at most grocery stores!)

Tacos for Everyone!

 

And find more ways to relax from Nicole’s last Chasing Health post!

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Holiday Orange Recipes

Healthy Orange Recipes

While you decorate your house and whip up holiday treats, we’ll help you make use of your leftover in-season oranges with these orange recipes.

This Pomegranate Orange Salad is a light and healthy lunch in the middle of holiday meal season.

Pomegranate Orange Salad
Image and Recipe via Chelsea’s Messy Apron

 

Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken is perfect for weeknight dinners or the holidays.

Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken Recipe

 

These Grilled Scallop and Orange Kebabs with Honey-Ginger Glaze are a quick and easy showstopper.

Grilled Scallop and Orange Kebabs with Honey-Ginger Glaze

 

Your family will love these Copycat Orange Fruit Chews made with fresh juice.

Sun-Kissed Fruit Chews Recipe {100% Fruit}

 

Orange Chicken Stir-Fry with Asparagus is way tastier and healthier than picking up takeout.

Orange Chicken Stir-Fry with Asparagus

 

Citrus and Fennel Salad turns in-season produce into a pretty holiday side.

 

This heart-healthy Orange-Rosemary Glazed Salmon will only feel decadent.

Orange-Rosemary Glazed Salmon
Image and Recipe via Cooking Classy

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