Foods, Uncategorized

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

 

Chicken and rice casserole recipe - Dr. Axe

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2–3 cups wild rice, cooked
  • 1 cup goat milk
  • 6 medium mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 chicken thighs, chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1½ cup kale, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup goat cheese, grated
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, create roux by whisking butter and arrowroot starch until it bubbles, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add broth, whisking continuously to thicken for about 10 minutes.
  4. Once the mixture is visibly thicker, add goat milk and continue to whisk for about 5 minutes, allowing to thicken a bit more.
  5. Combine all ingredients except for goat cheese in a casserole dish, mixing thoroughly.
  6. Top with goat cheese and bake for 40 minutes.

 

I think you’ll find that not only is this chicken and rice casserole recipe super tasty and comforting, it’s also energizing, filling and gentle on your stomach.

The week nights can get very busy, and we often find ourselves rushing to make dinner choices that are quick, easy and inexpensive. When you need to throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot and call it a day, there’s nothing better than slow cooker recipes and casseroles.

Unlike most casserole recipes that are made with refined carbohydrates and other processed ingredients that can be hard on your digestive system, my chicken and rice casserole is made with gluten-free wild rice, chicken thighs, mushrooms, kale and goat cheese. It’s also made with a tasty roux that’s made with arrowroot, one of my go-to gluten-free flours, and goat milk.

The Healthiest Rice Option

When you roam through the rice options at the grocery store, you may be a bit confused about all of the options. There’s white rice, brown rice, black rice, wild rice, jasmine rice — the list goes on. Do you need some help choosing the healthiest rice options for your home cooking? Well, I’ve got you covered.

One of the healthiest rice options out there is wild rice. Did you know that wild rice is actually a grass and not a grain? It’s a semi-aquatic grass that grows naturally in waterways throughout the United States. It’s completely gluten-free and rich in antioxidants.

Chicken and rice casserole recipe - Dr. Axe

Wild rice has a nutty flavor and texture, so it really adds depth to a recipe. Plus, you may notice that after eating a meal with wild rice, you feel energized, which is because of the magnesium content.

Aside from the wild rice in my chicken and rice casserole, some other ingredients that make this a healthy and filling dinner option are the goat milk, chicken broth and arrowroot flour that makes up the roux. You get a creamy texture and rich flavor, but this roux is easy on your digestive system.

Plus, the combination of mushrooms, kale, garlic and shallot gives this chicken and rice casserole a boost of vitamins and minerals that will support your immune system and help to reduce inflammation. Who knew a casserole can do so much for your health?

 

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Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Heart-Healthy Eggs Benedict Recipe with Asparagus

Heart-Healthy Eggs Benedict Recipe with Asparagus

 

Eggs benedict recipe - Dr. Axe

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bunch asparagus (16 pieces)
  • 1–2 teaspoons coconut or avocado oil
  • ¼ tomato, sliced
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 2 eggs, poached
  • hollandaise sauce  ( recipe below)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium-size frying pan over medium heat, add coconut or avocado oil.
  2. Add the asparagus to the frying pan and pan fry until for tender, about 8–10 minutes.
  3. In a small pot, bring 2–3 cups of water to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, gently lower the eggs into the water and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Remove the eggs once finished and set them aside for assembly.
  5. Divide the asparagus on two separate plates and add sliced tomato and avocado on top.
  6. Add the eggs and drizzle on the hollandaise.
  7. Top with chives.

Eggs Benedict is one of those items that you’ll always see on a breakfast or brunch menu. It’s a breakfast classic. But, when prepared with the traditional ingredients, it can be hard on your waistline, heart, brain and digestion.

In my eggs Benedict recipe, I use immune-boosting, heart healthy, anti-inflammatory foods like avocado, asparagus and tomato. This low-carb breakfast is also high in healthy fats that are key for maintaining optimal health. So give this eggs Benedict recipe a try — you’ll never go back to the traditional dish again.

5-Minute Blender Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

Hollandaise sauce recipe - Dr. Axe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoon grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter or ghee over medium-low heat.
  2. Add all the ingredients into a high-powered blender until well combined.

 

Remember we are in this together!

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Vitamin K2 Foods Benefit Cardiovascular Health

Vitamin K2 Foods Benefit

Cardiovascular Health

 

Vitamin K2 - Dr. Axe

 

Full-fat cheeses, eggs and beef liver might not be the types of foods that come to mind when you think about eating a heart-healthy diet. But, you’d probably be surprised to know that in recent years, one of the most researched nutrients in the field of cardiovascular health has been vitamin K2, found in these very foods.

What are the benefits of vitamin K2? While vitamin K1 has the important role of preventing blood clots and bleeding disorders, K2 works differently.

According to a 2019 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, K2 benefits include helping with nutrient assimilation, growth in infants and children, fertility, brain function, and bone and dental health. Unfortunately many people don’t get enough of this type from their diets.

Something that makes vitamin K unique (both types: K1 and K2) is that it’s not usually taken in supplement form. K2 seems to be much more beneficial when obtained naturally from vitamin K foods.

Unlike vitamin K1, which is mostly found in plant foods like leafy greens, you get K2 from animal-derived foods, like grass-fed meats, raw/fermented cheeses and eggs. It’s also produced by the beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome.

What Is Vitamin K2?

While we hear the most about vitamin K1 and K2, there are actually a bunch of different compounds that fall into the “vitamin K” category. Vitamin K1 is also known as phylloquinone, while K2 is known as menaquinone.

Compared to many other vitamins, the roles and health benefits of vitamin K2 were only recently discovered. What does vitamin K2 help with? It has many functions in the body, but the most important is helping the body to use calcium and preventing calcification of the arteries, which can lead to heart disease. Emerging studies show a lack of this vitamin is also associated with diseases including osteoporosis.

If there’s one thing that we need K2 for, it’s preventing calcium from building up in the wrong locations, specifically in soft tissues. Low intake of vitamin K2 can contribute to plaque building in the arteries, tartar forming on the teeth, and hardening of tissues that causes arthritis symptoms, bursitis, reduced flexibility, stiffness and pain.

Some evidence also suggests that K2 has anti-inflammatory properties and may offer some protection against cancer, including research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.

What the difference between vitamin K2 and MK7? K2 is a group of menaquinones compounds, which are abbreviated as “MK.” MK7 is one type of menaquinones that is responsible for many of the benefits attributed to vitamin K2. MK4 has been the focus of many vitamin K2 studies, but other types like MK7 and MK8 also have unique abilities.

Vitamin K2 vs. Vitamin K1

  • There’s some evidence that people tend to get about 10 times more vitamin K1 (or phylloquinone) from their diets than vitamin K2 (menaquinone). Vitamin K1 deficiency is very rare, even said to be “almost nonexistent,” while K2 deficiency is much more common.
  • A growing body of research now demonstrates that vitamins K1 and K2 are not only different forms of the same vitamin, but basically operate like different vitamins all together.
  • Vitamin K1 is more abundant in foods but less bioactive than the vitamin K2. 
  • Vitamin K2 from animal foods is more active in humans. This doesn’t mean that plant foods that provide K1 are unhealthy, just that they are not the best dietary sources of bioavailable vitamin K2.
  • When we eat foods with K1, vitamin K1 mostly makes it to the liver and then the bloodstream once converted. K2, on the other hand, gets distributed to bones and other tissues more easily.
  • Vitamin K1 is very important for supporting blood clotting, but not as good at protecting the bones and teeth as K2.

 

 

Uses

What is vitamin k2 used for? Here are some of the major benefits and uses associated with this vitamin:

1. Helps Regulate Use of Calcium

One of the most important jobs that vitamin K2 has is controlling where calcium accumulates in the body. Vitamin K2 benefits the skeleton, heart, teeth and nervous system by helping regulate use of calcium, especially in the bones, arteries and teeth.

The “calcium paradox” is a common term for the realization by medical professionals that supplementing with calcium can somewhat reduce the risk of osteoporosis but then increases the risk of heart disease. Why does this happen? Vitamin K2 deficiency!

K2 works closely with vitamin D3 to helps inhibit osteoclasts, which are cells responsible for bone resorption.

The Vitamin D and calcium relationship is important, as vitamin D helps transport calcium from the intestines as it digests into the bloodstream. Unfortunately, vitamin D’s job is done at that point. Next, vitamin K2 must activate one of its dependent proteins, osteocalcin. Research shows it then takes calcium out of the bloodstream and deposits it into bones and teeth.

For the best overall health benefits, it’s important to get enough calcium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K. Depending on your age, health and diet, you may need to take a vitamin D3 supplement, and possibly other supplements, too.

Vitamin K2 is essential for the function of several proteins in addition to osteocalcin, which is why it helps with growth and development. For example, it’s involved in the maintenance of structures of the arterial walls, osteoarticular system, teeth and the regulation of cell growth.

2. Protects the Cardiovascular System

Vitamin K2 is one of the best vitamins for men because it offers protection against heart-related problems, including atherosclerosis (stiffening of the arteries), which are the leading causes of death in many developed countries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year more than half of deaths due to heart disease are in men.

A 2015 report published in the Integrative Medicine Clinician’s Journal explains that

Vitamin K2 is associated with the inhibition of arterial calcification and arterial stiffening. An adequate intake of vitamin K2 has been shown to lower the risk of vascular damage because it activates matrix GLA protein (MGP), which inhibits the deposits of calcium on the walls.

The Rotterdam Study, a very large study done in the Netherlands that followed more than 4,800 adult men, found that the highest intake of vitamin K2 was associated with the lowest chances of suffering from aortic calcification. Men who consumed the most K2 were found to have a 52 percent lower risk of severe aortic calcification and a 41 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease.

The men in the study with the highest K2 intake also benefited from a 51 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease, and a 26 percent lower risk of dying from any cause (total mortality).

A 2017 study found that this vitamin was associated with a 12 percent increase in maximal cardiac output and that supplementation seemed to improve cardiovascular function in diseased patients. It seems to do this by restoring mitochondrial function and playing a “key role in production of mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate” (ATP).

3. Supports Bone and Dental Health

For decades, vitamin K was known to be important for blood coagulation — but only recently human studies have uncovered how it support bone health and protect against vascular diseases, too.

According to a 2017 article published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, “K2 may be a useful adjunct for the treatment of osteoporosis, along with vitamin D and calcium.”

Another 2015 meta-analysis supports the hypothesis that “vitamin K2 plays kind of a role in the maintenance and improvement of vertebral bone mineral density and the prevention of fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.”

K2 benefits the skeletal system by taking calcium and helping usher it into bones and teeth to make them solid and strong. A number of animal and human studies have investigated whether or not vitamin K2 can be useful for helping prevent or treat fractures, osteoporosis and bone loss.

Certain clinical studies have found that K2 slows the rate of bone loss in adults and even helps increase bone mass, plus it may reduce risk of hip fractures and vertebral fractures in older women.

K2 can enhance osteocalcin accumulation in the extracellular matrix of osteoblasts inside bones, meaning it promotes bone mineralization. A 2018 review reports that there is also evidence to support the effects of vitamin k2 on differentiation of other mesenchymal stem cells into osteoblasts.

Additionally, it helps maintain the structure of the teeth and jaws. Many traditional cultures included K2 foods in their diets because they believed it could help prevent cavities, tooth decay and plaque formation. This impact was observed in the 1930s by dentist Weston A. Price, who found that the primitive cultures with K2-rich diets had strong, healthy teeth although they’d never been exposed to western dental hygiene.

It turns out that getting plenty of K2 during pregnancy is also important for fetal growth and bone health. During fetal development, having limited osteocalcin proteins activated (which require vitamin K2) equates to undergrowth of the lower third of the facial bone and jaw structure. Some experts believe this is the reason so many children in modern society need braces.

4. May Protect From Cancer

Some research shows that those who have high amounts of K2 in their diet are at lower risk of developing some types of cancers. For example, vitamin K2 may help to protect specifically from leukemia, prostate, lung, and liver cancers.

5. Defends From Rheumatoid Arthritis Damage

In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, supplementing with vitamin K2 has been shown to result in a slowdown of bone mineral density loss and to decrease the amount of RANKL, an inflammatory compound, in the blood of subjects.

This suggests that K2 might be a useful supplement to a rheumatoid arthritis diet.

6. Improves Hormonal Balance

Inside our bones, K2 can be used to produce osteocalcin hormone, which has positive metabolic and hormonal effects.

Fat-soluble vitamins are important for the production of reproductive/sex hormones, including estrogen and testosterone. Because of its hormonal-balancing effects, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and postmenopausal women can benefit from getting more K2 in their diets, according to recent studies.

K2 can also helps promote blood sugar balance and insulin sensitivity, which can reduce the risk for metabolic problems like diabetes and obesity. Some research suggests that K2 helps regulate glucose metabolism by modulating osteocalcin and/or proinflammatory pathways.

7. Helps Promote Kidney Health

K2 may benefit the kidneys by helping prevent the formation of calcium accumulation in the wrong places, the underlying cause of kidney stones. It may also do the same for other organs, too, including the gallbladder.

In addition, a lack of K2 and vitamin D has been associated in studies with a higher occurrence of kidney disease.

Foods

What foods are high in vitamin k2? Vitamin K1 is found in mostly vegetables, while K2 is found in mostly animal products or fermented foods.

K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it’s present in animal foods that also contain fat, specifically saturated fat and cholesterol.

Animals help transform vitamin K1 into K2, while humans do not have the necessary enzyme to do this efficiently. This is why we benefit from getting K2 directly from animal-derived foods — and why sticking to grass-fed animal products provides the most K2.

The 20 best vitamin K2 foods include (percentages based on daily value requirement of 120 micrograms):

  1. Natto: 1 ounce: 313 micrograms (261 percent DV)
  2. Beef liver: 1 slice: 72 micrograms (60 percent DV)
  3. Chicken, especially dark meat: 3 ounces: 51 mcg (43 percent DV)
  4. Goose liver pate: 1 tablespoon: 48 micrograms (40 percent DV)
  5. Hard cheeses (such as Gouda, Pecorino Romano, Gruyere, etc.): 1 ounce: 25 micrograms (20 percent DV)
  6. Jarlsberg cheese: 1 slice: 22 micrograms (19 percent DV)
  7. Soft cheeses: 1 ounce: 17 mcg (14 percent DV)
  8. Blue cheese: 1 ounce: 10 micrograms (9 percent DV)
  9. Ground beef: 3 ounces: 8 micrograms (7 percent DV)
  10. Goose meat: 1 cup: 7 micrograms (6 percent DV)
  11. Egg yolk, specifically from grass-fed chickens: 5.8 micrograms (5 percent DV)
  12. Beef kidneys/organ meat: 3 ounces: 5 mcg (4 percent DV)
  13. Duck breast: 3 ounces: 4.7 micrograms (4 percent DV)
  14. Sharp cheddar cheese: 1 ounce: 3.7 micrograms (3 percent DV)
  15. Chicken liver (raw or pan-fried): 1 ounce: 3.6 micrograms (3 percent DV)
  16. Whole milk: 1 cup: 3.2 micrograms (3 percent DV)
  17. Canadian bacon/cured ham: 3 ounces: 3 micrograms (2 percent DV)
  18. Grass-fed butter: 1 tablespoon: 3 micrograms (2 percent DV)
  19. Sour cream: 2 tablespoons: 2.7 micrograms (2 percent DV)
  20. Cream cheese: 2 tablespoons: 2.7 micrograms (2 percent DV)

The more vitamin K1 an animal consumes from its diet, the higher the level of K2 that will be stored in the tissues. This is the reason that “grass-fed” and “pastured-raised” animal products are superior to products that come from factory farm raised animals.

Going back to the fact that vitamin K2 comes in several forms, MK7 is found in the highest concentration in animal foods, while the other types are found in mostly fermented foods. MK4 is the synthetic form of K2.

For those following a vegan diet, K2 can be hard to come by — unless you love natto! This “stinky sock” fermented soy food is an acquired taste and is also the only vegan source of K2. Fortunately, it’s also the richest source (and the food used to make the type of K2 supplement I recommend).

 

Dosage

How much vitamin k2 do you need each day?

The minimum daily requirement of K2 in adults is between 90–120 micrograms per day.

  • Some experts recommend getting about 150 to 400 micrograms daily, ideally from K2 foods as opposed to dietary supplements.
  • Overall it’s recommended to tailor your dosage depending on your current health.  People with a higher risk of heart disease or bone loss (such as older women) may benefit from getting a dose on the higher end of the spectrum (200 micrograms or more).
  • Those looking to maintain their health can get a bit less, especially from supplements, such as around 100 micrograms.

Is it beneficial to take vitamin K dietary supplements?

If you take a supplement that contains vitamin K, the chances are very likely that it’s vitamin K1 but not K2.

While some newer K2 supplements are now available, the type of supplement matters greatly.

  • MK4, the form of K2 found in many vitamin K supplements, is a synthetic K2 with a short half-life. This means that to get the full benefit of it, you have to take it multiple times throughout the day.
  • Often, an MK4 serving size is thousands of micrograms to counteract the half-life of the compound. However, MK7 derived from natto has a much longer half-life and can be taken in more reasonable doses like those listed above.

Remember that vitamin K works with other fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamins A and D, so the best way to obtain these nutrients is to eat foods that provide many different vitamins — like eggs and raw, full-fat dairy products.

Particularly for those at risk of osteoporosis, calcium should also be a nutrient you aim to eat a lot of while increasing your K2 intake.

Deficiency Symptoms

What happens if you get too little vitamin K?

Symptoms of vitamin K2 deficiency can include:

  • Blood vessel and heart-related problems, like arterial calcification and high blood pressure
  • Poor bone metabolism and possibly higher risk for bone loss and hip fractures
  • Kidney and gallstones
  • Cavities and other dental issues tied to tooth decay
  • Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, like bloody stool, indigestion and diarrhea
  • Poor blood sugar balance and higher risk for blood sugar issues and diabetes
  • Metabolic problems
  • Higher chance of having morning sickness in pregnant women
  • Spider veins/varicose veins

Among adults living in industrialized nations, deficiency in this vitamin is considered to be rare. However, newborn babies and infants are much more susceptible to deficiency due to how their digestive systems lack the ability to produce K2.

Adults are at a greater risk of developing vitamin K2 deficiency if they suffer from any of these health conditions:

  • Diseases that affect the digestive tract, including types of inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or celiac disease
  • Malnutrition, due to calorie restriction or poverty
  • Excessive alcohol consumption/alcoholism
  • Use of drugs that block K2 absorption, which can include antacids, blood thinners, antibiotics, aspirin, cancer treatment drugs, seizure medication and high cholesterol drugs — cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and certain osteoporosis drugs inhibit the conversion of K2, which can greatly lower levels
  • Prolonged vomiting and/or diarrhea

Risks and Side Effects

Is too much vitamin K2 bad for you? While it’s rare to experience side effects or vitamin k2 toxicity from getting high amounts from food alone, you might develop symptoms if you take high doses of vitamin K supplements.

However, for most people even high doses of this vitamin, such as 15 milligrams three times a day, have been shown to generally be safe.

Are there potential drug interactions to worry about? If you’re someone who takes the drug Coumadin, a potential side effect associated with taking too much vitamin K is increasing your risk for heart-related problems.

Too much vitamin K can also also contribute to complications in people with blood clotting disorders.

Look for a supplement that specifically lists menaquinone if you plan to supplement. Because vitamin K supplements can interact with many medications, talk to your doctor if you plan to take a vitamin K supplement and are taking any daily medications.

Final Thoughts

  • Vitamin K2 (also called menaquinone) is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps with calcium metabolism, bone and dental health, heart health, and hormone balance.
  • Vitamin K1 is found in mostly green vegetables, while vitamin K2 (the more bioavailable form) is found in mostly animal products or fermented foods.
  • Benefits of getting more vitamin K2 from your diet include: helping to reduce your risk for calcification of the arteries, atherosclerosis, cavities, tooth decay, kidney problems, and hormonal imbalances.
  • This vitamin seems to be much more beneficial when obtained naturally from foods high in vitamin K2, rather than supplements. Consuming raw, fermented cheeses and other full-fat dairy products is the best way to get adequate amounts. Eggs, liver and dark meats are other good sources.

 

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EHS Telehealth

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Foods, Uncategorized

Creamy Southwest Chicken : Low Carb

Creamy Southwest Chicken

 

southwest chicken

Low carb chicken recipes are a must-have for many on low carb diets. This creamy chicken skillet dish is one you can have on the table in 20 minutes, from prep time to finished product, using canned green chiles and shredded cheese for enhanced flavor. This is also one of those dishes you can still serve to family members who may not be on the low carb diet you’re on. Just add their desired side dish, with your low carb options at the same time. The chiles are mild, so this isn’t a spicy dish, but it is a tasty one. Serve with refried beans and/or a salad and sliced avocado. To give it some heat and spice things up, add red pepper flakes or sriracha.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
  • 1/4 cup onion (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4.5 ounce can green chiles (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cheddar (shredded, or jack cheese)

Preparation

1) Heat large skillet with oil over medium heat.

2) Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Saute until brown on both sides, adding onions about halfway through.

3) Add garlic and cook for another minute.

4) If needed, deglaze the pan with a little water.

5) Add green chiles and cream, and simmer until chicken is done on both sides and the sauce is thickened.

6) Top with shredded cheddar or jack cheese, and serve when cheese melts.

Optional garnish: avocado slices or cilantro.

Suggested Additions: Add low carb veggies such as chopped broccoli or cauliflower to boost fiber; use feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes instead of cheddar or jack.

Slow Cooker Creamy Southwest Chicken Recipe

In addition to pan frying this creamy chicken dish, as this recipe does, you can use the recipe in a slow cooker. By using the slow cooker, you can create this dish with less prep time. If you go the slow cooker route, you can forego chopping the chicken into small pieces and leave them whole.

Here’s how: Add all the ingredients, except the cheese, including chicken stock (1/2 cup), into the slow cooker. Top the ingredients with the chicken and finish with the salt and pepper to taste. Depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts, anywhere from 4.5 to 6 hours and your dish will be ready. As you serve the chicken, top with the shredded cheese. Quinoa noodles are a great relatively low carb supplement to add to the slow cooker version of this recipe.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Tartar Sauce Recipe

Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe

There are a lot of reasons to love tartar sauce. If you’re a a big fan of seafood, it may already be one of your favorite condiments, but have you ever had homemade tartar sauce? With the perfect balance of creamy, salty, tangy and sweet, this tartar sauce recipe can be used on much more than a piece of fried fish.

What is tartar sauce? It is a condiment or dip that starts out with a base of mayonnaise or aioli and then has other ingredients added to it. Tartar sauce recipes can vary slightly, but most will add relish, onion, herbs and lemon juice.

Like other condiments, tartar sauce is only as good or as healthy as its ingredients, which pretty much always include mayonnaise and sweet relish or pickles. As you may already know, a lot of mayonnaise and pickle brands include unwanted preservatives, flavorings and coloring. Plus, sweet relish or pickles are usually loaded with refined sugar.

This recipe for tartar sauce includes homemade mayonnaise and probiotic-rich homemade dill pickles, which really takes the taste of this sauce to another level. It’s also a paleo-friendly recipe. Before you keep reading, don’t worry, how to make tartar sauce is not hard, and it’s so worth the effort because homemade tartar sauce always has that freshness and flavor that you just can’t get in any pre-made version.

 

Tartar sauce recipe - Dr. Axe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup paleo mayo or 1 cup Coconut Oil Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Homemade Dill Pickles
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
  • 2–3 garlic cloves

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place everything in a food processor or high-powered blender, blending until well-combined.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Chicken Scarpariello

Chicken Scarpariello With Sausage and Peppers Recipe

 

 

Looking for a healthier take on the classic sausage and peppers recipe? This chicken scarpariello dish has both chicken breasts and chicken sausages and is overflowing with delicious flavor. Of course, I recommend using organic, free-range chicken products, which I personally think taste better in addition to being healthier options overall.

This chicken scarpariello with sausage recipe takes less than an hour to make and can feed at least six people. It’s a perfect choice if you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing dish that only requires one pot and minimal effort. Before we dive into the how-to’s of this recipe, what is chicken scarpariello exactly?

Chicken scarpariello recipe - Dr. Axe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3 chicken sausages
  • 2 sweet cherry peppers, halved and de-seeded
  • 1 orange pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup dry white cooking wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 shallot, sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup okra, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large oven-safe pan over medium-high heat, warm avocado oil.
  3. Brown chicken and sausage separately and then remove when braised but not fully cooked.
  4. Reduce to medium heat and add garlic, peppers, mushrooms, shallots, okra, oregano, sage, salt and pepper.
  5. Sauté until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
  6. Add wine and broth to deglaze the pan.
  7. Scrape bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula to incorporate the flavors.
  8. Place chicken and sausage on top of the vegetables and bake in oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Spinach Quiche Recipe : Low Carb

Crustless Spinach Quiche Recipe

 

This crustless spinach quiche recipe is keeping things simple yet delicious with only five key ingredients. It’s loaded with impressive spinach nutrition, eggs and healthy raw cheese.

Get ready to make a healthy crustless spinach quiche recipe so loaded with flavor you’ll easily end up eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And that’s really one of the best things about a quiche — that it makes a perfect snack or meal any time of the day.

This crustless spinach quiche recipe is delicious, so easy to make and high in protein. Plus, it’s gluten-free, vegetarian and ketogenic diet-approved.

Crustless spinach quiche recipe - Dr. Axe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1½ cups shredded raw cheese
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil + extra for greasing
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9-inch pie pan with coconut oil.
  2. Heat coconut oil and onions over medium heat in sauce pan until onions are soft. Stir in spinach and cook until excess moisture has evaporated.
  3. In a bowl, combine eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir.
  4. Add spinach mixture and blend together.
  5. Scoop into pan and bake for 30 minutes.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Foods, Uncategorized

Chipotle Lime Chicken Thighs With Pineapple Salsa Recipe

Chipotle Lime Chicken Thighs With Pineapple Salsa Recipe

 

chipotle chicken with salsa

 

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are great for quick, flavorful meals. They are easy to prepare with little effort and are almost impossible to dry out. They take on any flavor well and are the perfect vehicle for fresh, healthy ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and herbs. To keep them on the healthier side, trim off visible fat before cooking. They will still stay plenty moist and flavorful!

Chipotle, garlic and lime add so much flavor with almost no effort in this recipe. A fresh pineapple salsa kicks up the flavor even more and makes this meal a fun and exciting change-up to your normal dinner routine.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil or other high-heat oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • Juice from 1/2 lime

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 350F. Trim visible fat from chicken thighs.
  2. In a small bowl, combine chipotle powder, garlic, and cumin.
  3. Squeeze lime over the tops of chicken thighs and sprinkle heavily with the spice blend. Rub to coat the tops of thighs well.
  4. Heat an oven-proof skillet on the stove over high heat. Add oil and swirl skillet to coat.
  5. Sear chicken thighs in the skillet, about 2 minutes per side. Place skillet in the oven to finish cooking, 5 to 10 minutes. Chicken is done when a thermometer inserted in the center reads 165F.
  1. While chicken is cooking, prepare the salsa. Combine red onion, pineapple, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime in a bowl.
  2. Once the chicken is done remove from oven and serve with pineapple salsa.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

You can use chicken breasts in place of thighs, but they will need to be pounded thin to ensure they cook thoroughly but do not dry out.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Use a meat thermometer to be sure chicken is cooked all the way through. You may also grill chicken thighs if you do not have an oven-proof skillet.

Serve these chicken thighs with black beans or brown rice and a green salad or grilled vegetables to round out the meal.

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

7 “Healthy” Food that Can Make You Fat

7 “Healthy” Food that Can Make You Fat

 

 

Salads, Granolas and smoothies seem like smart picks for healthy on-the-go foods, but you may be surprised to learn that many times they’re packed with extra calories, sugar, carbohydrates and salt.

 

Soups

Soups are hearty and delicious go-to’s on colder days, but not all soups are created equal. The base of your soup can make or break its healthiness. “A cream-based soup is going to be much higher in calories and fat,” says Allen. In fact, one cup of chicken noodle is about 100 calories, while one cup of broccoli cheddar is almost 250.

When you eat soup, opt for broth-based soups like vegetable or chicken noodle or cream-free tomato soups and stews instead. And steer clear of cream-heavy bisques and chowders when you can. If you have to reach for canned soups, choose low-fat, reduced-sodium soup options.

 

Salads

 

Salads, depending on what they’re made of, can be fresh and healthy picks to throw together or order in a pinch. But dieters beware: they can also sabotage your weight loss goals if they’re covered in fatty toppings like cheese, bacon, creamy dressings and croutons.

“Salads at some fast food restaurants can have almost 30 grams of fat and 500 calories, while a cheeseburger and an order of medium fries has 28 grams of fat and 630 calories, so there’s not much difference between the two,” says Allen.

Make sure your salad is actually healthy by asking for your dressing on the side, choosing the grilled version of your protein rather than the fried, and asking for little or no bacon or cheese. For a crunchy topping without all the calories, try sliced almonds or crushed bean “tortilla” chips instead. And whole grains like quinoa, bulgur or barley will help fill you up.

When it comes to dressings, choose oil and vinegar-based dressings rather than cream and mayonnaise-based options; fresh salsa can be a guilt-free salad topper, too. If you can’t bear a salad without your favorite creamy dressing, divide your salad into two. Use your favorite fatty dressing on one portion, and the healthier dressing option on the other half.

 

Smoothies

 

Sugary syrups and processed protein powders can add up to 1,000 calories at fast food chain smoothies, says Allen.

It’s better to make your own smoothies at home, or hand pick the ingredients that go into you smoothies if you order them out. If you’re new to smoothie making, here’s how much of each ingredient to include: one to two cups of liquid base, up to two cups of greens, up to three cups of fruit, plus a tablespoon of nut butter or protein powder.

Keep your smoothie healthy by using milk—like unsweetened coconut, almond or skim milk—as your base instead of juice. Then add fruits like strawberries, bananas or blueberries and a protein such as Greek yogurt, nut butter, seeds like hemp or chia or protein power (whey, soy and plant-based options are best). For added vitamins, try throwing in some spinach, kale or celery. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla extract can pack an extra, low-cal flavor punch, too.

 

Granola

 

Depending on what it’s made out of, granola can be super high in calories, fat and sugar, says Allen. Most granola is made of oats, nut, seeds and dried fruit—all nutrient rich ingredients—but chocolate chips and sugary syrups can add serious calories to store-bought options.

Look for granola options with raw oats, unsalted nuts and unsweetened fruit, and mix your granola into something rather than snacking on it by the handful. Add it to something like low-fat Greek yogurt, then top it with some fruit such as berries, says Allen. Hooked on granola bars? Try options that are nut or fruit based rather those that are grains-based. Homemade granola bars are easy to make, too: ingredients like unsweetened cranberries, old-fashioned oats, unsalted almonds, all-natural maple syrup, flax seeds and peanut butter can be combined and baked for a nice treat.

 

Dried Fruit

 

You may think anything made of fruit is good for you, but that’s not always the case. Certain dried fruits like apricots and dates are concentrated with calories, especially from sugar, says Allen. While they still have antioxidant and fiber components, they may actually be stripped of some vitamins during the dehydration process.

Sprinkle dried fruit like apples or cranberries in your salads rather than snacking on them straight out of the bag. And when you do eat dried fruit by itself, pair it with a low-fat cheese stick or a handful of nuts so you’ll stay fuller, longer. When selecting picks from the grocery store, aim for options without added sugar or other ingredients (the only ingredient should be the fruit itself).

 

Fruit juices

 

All-natural fruit juice can provide some of the vitamins and minerals that you find in whole fruits, as long as you control your portions. “The biggest problem with fruit juices is that most people pour more than the recommended serving size,” says Allen.

Craving apple juice? Eat an actual apple instead of reaching for juice. “You’ll get a lot more fiber eating the whole fruit than you would in fruit juice,” says Allen. When you do choose juice, opt for all-natural, 100 percent, no-sugar added juice options or the low-cal versions of your favorites. Do limit the amount you drink—the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends no more than one cup per day.

***  Never give your children Apple Juice!

 

Pretzels

 

Pretzels may have been your go-to snack food years ago, but you may want to be careful when it comes to the salty snack nowadays.

“People are starting to look at carbohydrate intake much more now than they did in the past,” says Allen. “10 or 15 years ago there was a push to reduce fat intake so we turned to things like pretzels and baked potato chips.”

But reduced-fat doesn’t give you license to eat as much as you want. With low-fat foods, people think they can eat as much as they want because it’s low fat, but they still have to watch portion sizes, says Allen.

While pretzels are a much healthier pick than greasy potato chips, pay attention to serving size: only about 16 small waffle-shaped pretzels equals one serving. And don’t eat too many flavored pretzels like honey mustard and barbeque as they likely have a lot of sugar and sodium. Your best bet: unsalted mini pretzels to keep your sodium and hunger levels in check.

 

Just be aware of what you’re eating

 

You don’t have to do away with these foods completely, but reading labels and educating yourself on serving size, calorie count, fat content and how they fit into your diet is key, says Allen. “For example, many people are leaning towards almond milk these days, but the calories per serving can range from 30 to 100.”

One of the easiest ways you can monitor what you’re eating is to track it or look it up before you indulge.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Foods, Uncategorized

Frozen Chocolate Bananas!

Frozen Chocolate Bananas!

The flavors in this simple dessert remind me of classic beach fare – frozen bananas on a stick coated with chocolate. This is a healthier version that you can whip up in no time. It contains no added sugar or dairy and is very versatile. Improvise by adding different flavors like organic peppermint oil or almond extract. Make this a few hours before you plan to serve – it’s best when just frozen. Any leftovers will keep for a couple of weeks in the freezer.
Bananas are rich in potassium – one banana contains 450 mg, one-fifth of the adult daily requirement – and offer a fair share of magnesium (33 mg), too.

Ingredients

4 very ripe bananas
2 tablespoons pure unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons real maple syrup

Instructions

1. Peel the bananas and place in a blender or food processor along with the cocoa powder.

2. Add the vanilla extract and the maple syrup.

3. Blend till very smooth. Pour into individual custard cups or small bowls and freeze until just frozen.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/