Marinated Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberry Bruschetta Topping

I saw this bruschetta recipe on Balanced Bites today, and I knew I had to try it. I decided to sweeten it up a bit with some raw organic honey and soak my onions prior otherwise left the recipe as is. My mint and basil is growing so plentiful so what a wonderful way to use some of it up. I also had spinach from the Alexandria farmers market, chicken tenders thawed, and strawberries that were dying to be eaten so this recipe was calling my name! I use this marinade often and thought it would pair nicely with the strawberry bruschetta and boy was I right.

Strawberry

PREP

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You could use it as a salsa for pita chips too.

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So pretty!

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Marinate the chicken

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Grill Chicken tenders

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Set up build your own salad stations

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Or use the chicken in a lettuce wrap with the bruschetta. This spinach is huge and I got it at the Alexandria Farmers Market from Sundog Prairie Farms 

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Finished product and absolutely DELISH!

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Strawberry Bruschetta (slightly adapted from Balanced Bites)

  • 1 pound strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion (soak in cold water if you want them not so strong)
  • 5 large basil leaves, finely
  • 24 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey

Soak the chopped onions in cold water while you are marinating the chicken, drain.  It takes the sharpness out of the raw onions. Add the strawberries, onion, basil, mint and garlic in a medium bowl until well combined. Whisk the EVOO, Balsamic, honey,  and sea salt until combined. Fold in the dressing with the strawberry mixture.

I make this marinade often and love it. I always have these ingredients on hand so it is quick to throw together. Skip the store boughten marinades, too many ingredients.

Marinated Grilled Chicken Tenders 

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • chicken tenders, boneless & skinless  (about 2 per person)

Mix well and toss chicken tenders in marinade. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Grill Chicken tenders about 2-3 minutes per side over medium high heat or until done.  Serve on top of bed of organic baby spinach and top with  strawberry bruschetta.

Best part about this was my sister came over and enjoyed it with my on our deck. Gorgeous day for a picnic lunch break. Love having taste testers!

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I was able to make all of this without going to the store. If you keep good foods at your house, you will eat good foods! Always change recipes to suit your tastes, budget, food sensitivities, diet, and get creative. Play in the kitchen and make it fun feeding your family healthy foods that taste delicious. Thanks for the bruschetta recipe Balanced Bites, it will become a staple.

paleo, gluten free, dairy free, and AMAZING!

Creamy Broccoli and Gouda Cheese Soup

I just went to my local farmers market, Alexandria’s Farmers Market, this weekend and scored some delicious treasures. I bought this beautiful broccoli and this aged raw gouda cheese from grass fed cows from a local farm Fruitful Seasons Dairy . Check them out, you will not be disappointed. I typically eat dairy free but if I choose dairy (because my body gets angry at me when I eat it),  I like raw and aged cheese that comes from grass fed cows so this is perfect, plus it is local!!!!  Raw milk cheese is a complete food, containing proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, cholesterol, and probiotics. It  contains all of the 8 essential amino acids (the building blocks for protein and we need to get this from our diet). When traditional dairy is heated, some of these benefits are destroyed. This soup is gluten free and can be made dairy free by leaving the gouda out and was done in about 30 minutes.

The Broccoli (I used two of these)

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The star of the show, the Cheese!

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The seasonings

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Mashed sweet potatoes add nutrients and creaminess without the added cream, flour, and butter.

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This soup tastes delicious dairy and cheese free too so If you are dairy free, just leave the gouda out.

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But if you want to add a creamy amazing goodness to it, add it in! You will not be disappointed.

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Broccoli and Gouda Cheese Soup

2 cups of fresh broccoli, chopped into tiny florets (set 1/3 aside to steam for topping)
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup of raw milk aged gouda cheese made from grass fed cows, freshly grated, rind removed (extra for garnish)
1 cup of shredded or finely chopped carrots
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup precooked and mashed sweet potato
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Himalayan pink salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring the onion, carrots, 2/3 of the broccoli, bay leaf and the garlic to a simmer with the stock. Simmer for 15 minutes or so.  Remove the bay leaf and add in the mashed sweet potato. Blend a little with immersion blender or add half into your Vitamix and blend to desired texture. I like to leave a little texture in my soup. Add in your seasonings. If you want it dairy free, stop here , top with a serving of remaining steamed broccoli and crushed red pepper flakes, and enjoy. If you want the creamy smokey goodness of the gouda, add in the cheese. Melt over low heat until blended.  Top with more grated cheese. steamed florets, and crushed red pepper flakes.

My belly is really happy!

I cannot wait until the next Farmers Market! If you have a local farmers market or access to a CSA share, check them out. It is a great way to try new things.

MUCH LOVE,

Drea 

 

Bok Choy Summer Slaw

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I fell in love with Bok Choy last summer and have been using it ever since.   I found some beautiful Bok choy at the Farmers market so I wanted to experiment with a few new ways to prepare it. It is a Chinese cabbage that is great in stir-fry, roasted, and in salads. Today I made a light and tasty summer slaw with it and it turned out fantastic.  

Bok choy is very low in calories, only 13 calories per 100 grams.  It is very rich source of many vital phyto-nutrients, vitamins, minerals and health-benefiting anti-oxidants. What is your favorite way to prepare? Answer in the comments below.

Bok Choy Summer Slaw

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons raw organic honey
  • 2 teaspoons organic Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon himilayan pink salt
  • 6 cups very thinly sliced bok choy, trimmed (I am using the bok greens for a later recipe)
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  •  1 yellow bell pepper or 3 little ones, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • toasted sesame seeds

Whisk vinegar, oil, honey, mustard and salt in a large bowl. Add bok choy, carrots, peppers, and scallions; toss to coat with the dressing. Top with cilantro and sesame seeds. 

I think this would be fabulous with thinly sliced chicken breasts and slivered almonds mixed in too. 

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BECOME A HEALTH COACH

Become a health coach! The world needs you!

Grab this awesome guide here to answer all of your questions if HEALTH COACHING is right for you. Get a taste of Integrative Nutrition here or click on the image below. I went to IIN for personal growth and to expand my education but what I got out of it has truly been life changing. Help my mission by being part of this ripple effect. Read my offer below and let me know if you have any questions.

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As an ambassador, I have an amazing savings offer (up to $1000) that I can pass onto you. All you have to do is tell them that ambassador Drea Eidsvold referred you. Once enrolled, the coaches I refer get added to my exclusive private coaching group. I am currently not taking anymore one on one clients at this moment so I will be referring new one on one clients to my exclusive group of coaches. I would love to have you on my team! Let me know if you have questions.

Be well,

Coach Drea

HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS

BAKED APPLES

Healthy Snack Ideas

Cravings happen even to the healthiest of us. Often, when a craving hits in the afternoon or the evening after dinner, we get the urge to snack. Snacking can be a bad habit to get into, because the snacks we choose are often junky, un-nutritious, and high in calories, sugar, or fat.

The trick to snacking without piling on the pounds is to find healthy alternatives to the regular snacks you might normally reach for.

Usually, when we get a craving it is for either something sweet (chocolate), savory (potato chips), creamy (ice cream), or crunchy (crisps). Obviously, my examples are foods you shouldn’t eat all the time or in excess if you want to be trim and healthy. But that doesn’t mean you have to fight your cravings for the rest of your life. Instead, you just need to substitute.

Next time you get a craving for something sweet, why not try:

  • fresh, whole fruit
  • apples and almond butter or peanut but dip (recipe below)
  • dried fruit
  • green smoothies
  • banana “ice cream” (peel a banana, freeze, blend in a food processor with nuts, berries or  raisins ,and serve)
  • dates stuffed with almond butter or other nut butter
  • organic dark chocolate chips or carob chips

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For your savory cravings, try these healthy alternatives:

  • olives
  • pickles and pickled vegetables, such as carrot, daikon, beets, and lotus root
  • tabouli, hummus
  • steamed vegetables with tamari/shoyu or umeboshi vinegar
  • freshly made salsa or guacamole
  • Sauerkraut (will also knock your sweet craving right out!) My favorite is Bubbie’s!
  • salted edamame
  • Sunflower Seed or Pumpkin Seed Pate with veggies

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Your creamy cravings can be met by eating:

  • smoothies
  • avocados
  • rice pudding
  • dips and spreads, like hummus and baba ghanoush
  • puréed soups
  • puddings made with silken tofu, avocado, or mashed banana
  • mashed sweet potatoes
  • coconut milk
  • avocado pudding

AVOCADO

Finally, don‘t cave and reach for the Pringles, when you can eat these crunchy (but still healthy) snacks:

  • apples
  • frozen grapes
  • rice cakes
  • light popcorn or plain popcorn (use coconut oil to pop in a covered pan)
  • carrots (particularly the sweet, organic baby carrots)
  • celery and nut butter
  • raw, unsalted nuts like cashews, almonds, and walnuts
  • kale chips
  • baked apple chips (Summer Cleanse)

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Don’t fight your craving. Instead, listen to what it is your body wants specifically and choose the healthier option that will be good to your waistline.

 

5 Surprising Beauty Foods

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5 Surprising Beauty Foods

All fresh fruits and vegetables contain magical powers when it comes to shiny hair, clear skin, and strong nails. However, the ones I’ve chosen below are perhaps not as well known for their powerful beauty benefits. Try and include these foods into your diet if you want to look your best without the need for botox or other unnatural remedies.

  1. Red Peppers. All red and orange colored foods contain beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Red peppers are particularly beautifying due to the minerals A, C, and K. Vitamins A and C can help prevent cell damage that leads to premature ageing, and they can also reduce inflammation, which can cause a puffy-looking face. Pepper also has Vitamin K, which is an excellent property for protecting our cells from damage.
  2. Spinach. All leafy greens are actually very powerful in terms of being a beauty food because of the chlorophyll they contain. There are also loads of other phytochemicals and fiber in spinach that help build blood that is super clean and which will show through in your skin.
  3. Turmeric. This yellow-colored, Indian spice has a load of powerful antioxidant qualities. Turmeric assists in protecting our cells from free radical damage and also contributes towards cleaning up metabolic waste in our systems. It is also great as a liver flusher to get rid of any poisons and chemicals which are stored there.
  4. Pumpkin Seeds. Wow, these really are powerful. What don’t pumpkin seeds have in them?! The humble pumpkin seed contains high levels of zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B, C, and E. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids, all essential for healthy cell maintenance. Make a handful of pumpkin seeds a regular part of your diet, and you will definitely notice a change in your appearance.
  5. Parsley. Next time your plate is garnished with parsley, don’t push it aside. This is a pretty powerful herb when it comes to anti-aging, as well as purifying and cleansing the body. It contains vitamins A and C as well as anti-oxidizing flavonoids that protect our cells from free radical damage. Parsley also helps to purify the blood, kill bacteria, aid digestion, and cleanse toxins from the liver.

The best thing is that all these foods are easy to incorporate into your diet. Add turmeric to juice and combine the other foods with some other fixings to make a great, beautifying salad. Who said that beauty was hard to keep? Or make a simple turmeric tea as a night cap.

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Speaking of beauty, I also added a new favorite thing to my site, Natural Happiness Skincare. All of these products are amazing but my favorite is the lotion bar. It is mosquito season in Minnesota now so try the bug bar for your family. It is not just about watching the chemicals we eat in our foods, it is about being aware of what we are putting on our body and believe me, this STUFF rocks! Plus, it is made within 15 miles of my house. Great gifts and fabulous for the whole family.

Or for another favorite line of skincare shop here

Do you incorporate any of these foods into your diet? Or have you tried Natural Happiness Skincare? Please answer below.

Strawberry Bang Smoothie

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Strawberry Bang Smoothie

  •  1 Cup Coconut Milk
  •  1 Cup Cultured Coconut Milk (found by the kefir in the refrigerated section)
  •  1 Cup frozen Strawberries
  • 1 Cup Chopped Spinach
  • 1 Tbsp Flax
  • optional: scoop of high quality protein powder

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy! (2 servings)

I love to start my day with a smoothie. Get creative with your ingredients. Change up your greens, change up your milks, super foods, and fruit to create a smoothie perfect for you.

Chia Seeds, benefits and recipes

Chia seeds

The Chia seed is an ancient SuperFood used by Aztec and Mayan warriors to increase their energy and stamina, way back in 3500 B.C. Chia is the highest plant-based source of Omega-3s, fiber and protein. Many health experts agree that these tiny seeds are the next big thing in nutrition. In addition to protein and Omega-3s, they are packed with protein, healthy oils, fiber, disease-fighting minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. The Chia seed also has three times more calcium than milk, for an excellent non-dairy source of this bone-building nutrient.

Chia seeds can be added to just about any recipe, providing extra nutrition without changing the taste or texture. When you add chia seeds to liquid, they form a gel and absorb ten times their weight in water, making it an excellent source of hydration. The seeds take on the flavors of whatever food you mix it with.

I try to eat Chia seeds every day, mixing a tablespoon or two into oatmeal, smoothies and soups, or sprinkling it on top of salads.

This month’s SuperFood at a glance; Chia seeds are:

• A complete protein with all of the essential amino acids intact. This is a great protein source!

• A super source of Omega 3 fatty acids (the same Omega-3s that we get from fish oil and flax.) Omega 3 fatty acids are well-known for controlling inflammation in your system.

• High in fiber, which helps pull toxins from the digestive system. Fiber also keeps things “moving” and makes you feel fuller, longer.

• Rich in antioxidants (more than blueberries!) which protect your cells and tissues and keep you looking and feeling YOUNG!

• A source of sustained energy and known to help relieve inflammation in the body.

• Research shows that the concentrated amount of antioxidants and Omega-3s in Chia seeds may help improve brain clarity, concentration and memory.

Drea’s Recipe Corner
Banana Nut Loaf
Makes one loafbanana_bread

Ingredients
5 large over-ripe bananas
1 cup almonds
2 cups pecans
1 cup of buckwheat or brown rice flour
1/2 cup of maple syrup
3 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp cinnamon

Directions
Start by pre-heating the oven to 300 degrees . Then blend the almonds and pecans in a food processor so that they form a flour-like consistency; this should take about 30 seconds. Once the mixture is smooth, add it to a mixing bowl with the buckwheat flour, maple syrup, chia seeds, and cinnamon, mixing them all together. Next, mash the bananas together util smooth before stirring them into the flour/nut mixture; at this point the mixture should be nice and sticky. Grease a loaf tin with coconut oil and then pour in the mix and allow it to bake for about an hour. Slice and store in snack-size freezer bags for the perfect travel treat! They will defrost naturally in your carry-on or backpack!

Dirt Balls
From Dr. Mark Hyman’s, The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook

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Makes12

Ingredients
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup dates
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 Tbsp water
1/4 cup coconut flakes

Directions
Combine the cashews and oats in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are as fine as breadcrumbs. Add all remaining ingredients, except coconut, and process until it forms a large ball. Roll out 12 equal balls and pour the coconut flakes out onto a large plate. Roll each ball in the coconut until completely covered. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Store leftover Dirt Balls in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Homemade Trail Mix Bars

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Ingredients
3 cups puffed whole-grain cereal (e.g., puffed wheat or Kashi)
1/2 cup chopped nuts or seeds (or a combination)
1/2 cup (or up to 3/4 cup) chopped dried fruit such as cranberries or blueberries (or a combination, NO added sugar)
3 Tbsp ground chia seeds
1/3 cup creamy nut or seed butter (e.g. cashew, almond – NO added sugar)
1/2 cup raw honey (OR brown rice syrup, light molasses, sorghum, or pure maple syrup)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9-inch square metal baking pan foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl mix the cereal, nuts, dried fruit and (optional) flaxseed; set aside. Place the nut butter and honey in small heavy saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly for about 1 minute until bubbly and smooth. Pour hot mixture over cereal mixture in bowl, stir to blend (mix well to coat all of the cereal). Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Using a large square of wax paper or foil, firmly press mixture down into pan to firmly compact. Bake until just golden around edges, about 10 minutes. Cool completely. Remove bars using foil liner and cut into 16 bars or squares. Wrap in tin foil or plastic wrap and store in zip bags for travel. Makes 16 servings.