in my cupboard: helen’s kitchen frozen meals

A flavorful, preservative-free, frozen meal can be hard to come by but Helen’s Kitchen has got it down.  I tried the Indian Curry with Tofu Steaks over Rice – it is perfectly flavored and tastes like it came straight from the Indian take-out restaurant. It is Certified Organic, Vegan, a good source of Calcium, high in Iron & Vitamins A & C, and Gluten, MSG & GMO free. My only complaint is that they don’t use brown rice but even that won’t stop me from trying other varieties. Keep your eye’s out for their new products coming out soon – I sampled some at the Natural Products Expo West and was very impressed.

ask the nutritionist: greens

For those of you intrenched in the whole Co-op shopping, carrot-juice drinking lifestyle you are probably very familiar with greens.  I go through phases of taking “the greens” but never quite knew the benefits, except that it was good for me.  I think this happens a lot, we know that eating certain things are good for us but we might not know the power of the foods we eat.  Well, greens are very powerful so I suggest that you start a greens-taking regimen!

 picture by JulianVH

Alfalfa: provides calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, Vitamins A & C, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.  

Kelp: rich source of vitamins and minerals including iodine 

Spirulina: high in protein, can help improve immunity, lower cholesterol, and stabilize  blood sugar

Chlorella: helps protect from damaging chemicals 

Wheat Grass: source of chlorophyll, Amino Acids, minerals and vitamins

Green Tea: contains catechins which may help prevent cancer and tumors, also a powerful antioxidant 
So now that you know all of the benefits of greens, how do you get them?
Here are my two favorites: 
Naked Juice Green Machine: In addition to almost three apples, 1/2 of a banana, 1/3 of a kiwi, 1/3 of a mango and a hint of pineapple, here are the greens inside: spirulina, chlorella, broccoli, spinach, blue green algae, garlic, barley grass, wheat grass, ginger and parsley.  After typing this I realize that it sounds absolutely awful but I promise, this juice is delicious!  And yes, the juice is green.
Amazing Grass GREENSuperFood: This is a powder that you can mix with juice – I have done a mix of juice and water but am totally not brave enough to do straight water…..Anyway it contains 5 different blends that really do make for an Amazing Superfood:
Green Food Blend: Wheat Grass*, Barley Grass*, Alfalfa*, Spirulina*, Spinach*, Chlorella, Broccoli*     *denotes Organic ingredients
Antioxidant Blend: Acai*, Maca*, Carrot*, Beet*, Raspberry, Rose Hips, Pineapple, Green Tea, Acerola Cherry
EFA Fiber Blend: Flax Seed Powder*, Apple Pectin Fiber 
Digestive Enzyme & Active Culture Pre & Probiotic Blend: F.O.S. (from chicory root), L. Acidophilus, Alpha and Beta Amylase, Protease, Lipase, Lactase, Cellulase
Energizing Herb Blend: Siberian Eleuthero Root, Peppermint 

april cheese plate

I’m not sure if it is because I’m from Wisconsin and grew up eating cheese and crackers on a regular basis or if I have just grown to love artisan cheese but I can easily say that good cheese is one of my favorite foods.  

My April cheese plate: 
Carr Valley Mobay – a layer of sheep’s milk cheese and goat’s milk cheese with a layer of grape vine ash down the middle
Beemster’s – this Dutch cheese is aged for at least 18 months, lending it complex flavors  
An Italian Brie – Italian Taleggio Carozzi. I could not live without brie, it is that simple. 

ask the nutritionist: build a better easter basket

For those of you celebrating Easter this year or a variation of it here are some ideas that go beyond Peeps and Reese’s eggs.  photo by organicpixel
Hard Boiled Eggs – classic, protein-filled goodie
Green & Black Organic Chocolate Bars
Seeds to plant with your little one
Paints or coloring book to celebrate the new colors of Spring!