Wednesday, February 29, 2012

And the winner is...

Emily Fernandez!  Great job Emily, you completed a ton of the challenges on facebook!  Email me through the contact page and we'll work out getting your prize to you!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 28

This is your last challege!  Today, leave a comment and share what habit you've changed, what new thing you've learned or anything else that's happened this month to help you and your family eat more fruits and veggies.

And don't forget to check back tomorrow to find out who the winner of the $40 Whole Foods gift card is!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 27

There's only two more days left of the Fruit and Veggie Challenge!  So, keep up the great work.  The winner will be announced February 29th.

Sometimes the problem with eating enough fruits and veggies is that we just get in a rut.  An apple for breakfast, baby carrots for lunch and a salad for dinner every day...sound familiar?  Today's challenge is to share your favorite recipe that's loaded with either fruits and veggies so that we all can have something new (and yummy!) to try.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 25 & 26


Parsnips resemble carrots and have a sweet, nutty flavor.  You can slice and bake them into chips or even use them to make pancakes (recipe below).  

Parsnip Pancakes (adapted from allrecipes.com)
·                                 2 pounds parsnips, peeled
·                                 1 teaspoon salt
·                                 1/2 cup chopped onion
·                                 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
·                                 1 egg, lightly beaten
·                                 1 tablespoon minced chives
1.   Place parsnips in a large saucepan and cover with water; add salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and place parsnips in a large bowl; mash. Stir in the onion, flour, egg and chives.
2.   Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a well-greased hot griddle. Flatten with a spatula. Fry until golden brown; turn and cook until second side is lightly browned. Drain on paper towels.

How do you eat parsnip?  Leave a comment and you'll be entered in our drawing.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 24


Have you ever tried Pomelo?  They look similar to grapefruit and can get as big as basketballs!  They are juicy and sweet.   

Give them a try today and leave a comment.  You'll be entered to win a $40 Whole Foods gift card!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 23

Today's Challenge:  Cook with leeks!

Leeks are a little more mild and sweeter than onions and have a nice crunchy flavor when cooked!  We love them!  Substitute them for onions in your favorite dish or try the following recipe as a yummy way to eat them on their own.

Braised Leeks
2 pounds of leeks, trimmed, washed, quartered
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chicken broth

Braise leeks in the chicken broth for about 10 minutes covered, then take the lid off to let the broth evaporate for another 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Leave a comment here or on our facebook page and let up know how you like them!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 22

Did you know there are over 30,000 different varieties of mushrooms?  Mushrooms are a great source of Vitamin D.  Today’s challenge is to try at least one of them! 

Portobello Burger (one of my favorites)

4 portobello mushroom caps
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the olive oil and minced garlic.  Brush the mushroom caps with the olive oil mixture and lightly salt/pepper the tops.  Heat the grill to medium/high heat.  Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until tender.  Rush with olive oil mixture frequently. 

Put on a whole wheat bun and enjoy!

You can also try the recipe that one of our readers, Michelle, posted on the comments section on our vegetarian blog day for Philly "Cheesesteak" Sandwiches.

Don't forget to report back and let us know how you like them!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 21


Have you ever tried Beets?
Beets are known for their sweetness and have more sugar content than most vegetables.  Now you want to try them, don’t you?

Beet Soup (adapted from allrecipes.com)
·       3 tablespoons olive oil
·       1 medium onion, chopped
·       3 cloves garlic, minced
·       6 medium beets, peeled and chopped
·       2 cups beef stock
·       salt and freshly ground pepper

1.    Warm olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onions and garlic; cook until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in beets, and cook for 1 minute.
2.    Stir in stock, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cover, and simmer until the beets are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly.
3.    In batches, add soup to a food processor, and pulse until liquefied. Return soup to saucepan, and gently heat through. Ladle into bowls, and garnish with a swirl of cream.

This soup is beautiful and nutritious!

Try some beets today and come back and leave a comment here or on our Facebook page for an entry into our drawing for the month!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 20

This week the challenge is to be adventurous!  I challenge you to try something you have never dared to eat.  If you have kids, let them pick out a new fruit or vegetable at the grocery store.  If they pick it out they will be more likely to try it!  This week we will give you some recipes to try several fruits and vegetables you may typically skip over.  Have fun!


Today's Challenge:
Turnips have a yummy white flesh and the leaves are edible too!

Carmelized Turnips
·       3 cups diced peeled turnips
·       1/4 cup chicken broth
·        1 tablespoon butter
·       1 tablespoon brown sugar

Place the turnips into a skillet with the chicken broth over medium heat, and simmer until the liquid has evaporated and the turnips are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the butter and sprinkle on the sugar. Cook and stir the turnips until the butter and sugar cook into a brown, sticky coating on the turnips, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.  Enjoy!

Let us know what you think about turnips or if you tried another new fruit or veggie today!
You know the drill,  leave a comment and get an entry in our Whole Foods drawing.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 18 & 19

Try Something New!  This weekend, try a new fruit or veggie you haven't had before.  Check out your local farmer's market or just scour the produce section at your grocery store.

Leave a comment and let us know what you tried!  Who knows, you may be our winner!

And get ready for next week...each day we will introduce a new, different or strange fruit or veggie along with recipes to try them.  It's our "Be Adventurous" week of the Fruit and Veggie Challenge!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 17

Choose a Fruity Dessert!  Fruits and veggies don't have to always be add-ons to stuff we really want to eat.  Today, make fruit the thing you want to eat by making a dessert that's loaded with it.  Make a home-made apple cobbler or berry crisp.  Or try the following recipe for easy baked fruit (it's really fun to make with kiddos):

Ingredients:
Apples or pears
Butter
Lemon Juice
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Brown sugar

Directions:
1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Cut each piece of fruit in half and core.
3.  Place in a baking dish cut-side up.
4.  Place a small piece of butter in the center of each and sprinkle with lemon juice.
5.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of brown sugar.
6.  Cover and bake until fruit is soft.

Leave a comment here or on our facebook page and let us know how your dessert was, 
you'll be entered to win a Whole Foods gift card!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 16

Eat Something White!  Yes, even white fruits and veggies are loaded with health benefits.  The white pigment in produced is caused by anthoxanthins.  Anthoxanthins are thought to be protective against heart disease by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.  They also may help prevent stomach cancer.  So, today eat something white and talk about how you're keeping your heart healthy.

Don't forget to report back and leave a comment for an entry in this month's drawing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 15

Eat Something Blue or Purple:  Blue and purple pigments in fruits and veggies are caused by anthocyanins.  Anthocyanins are antioxidants that fight disease all over you body.  They're link to preventing heart disease and reducing the risk of multiple types of cancer.  Also, blueberries are thought to improve memory.  So, today eat something blue or purple and talk about how you're pumping your body full of little disease fighters.

Don't forget, every comment you leave is an entry in our $40 Whole Foods gift card drawing.  
Report back and let us know if you did the challenge!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 14

Happy Valentine's Day!  It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without some chocolate.  So, in honor of the holiday, you're challenge today is to eat some!  Dark chocolate (not milk or white chocolate, sorry!) contains loads of antioxidants that may be protective against heart disease among other diseases.  It's also lowers blood pressure.  So, today, eat some fruit dipped in dark chocolate.  Strawberries, blueberries, dried apricots...you be creative.

Here's a great recipe for chocolate dipped fruit with some fun ideas to do with the kiddos:  Chocolate Dipped Fruit on a Stick 

Don't forget to report back and let us know what you did!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 13

Eat Something Green!  Green fruits and veggies contain chlorophyll, lutein and indoles.  Lutein is great for eye health while indoles are very protective against many kinds of cancers.  So, today, eat something green and talk about how you're keeping your eyes sharp are pumping your body full of cancer fighters.

Don't forget to leave a comment here or on facebook!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Weekend Challenge: Days 11 & 12

Eat 7 Servings!  The weekend is a great time to slow down and nourish your body.  Here's a big challenge:  Eat 7 servings of fruits and veggies each day this weekend.  

Good luck!  And don't forget to let us know if you made it!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 10

Eat Something Orange or Yellow!  Most orange and yellow fruits and veggies get their color from carotenoids (except for citrus fruits which are a great source of vitamin C).  Beta-carotene, a carotenoid, is convereted into vitamin A in the body.  Vitamin A has a lot of health benefits, but one of the main things it does is keep your eyes healthy.  So, today, grab something orange or yellow and talk about how your keeping your eyes strong while you eat it.

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 9

Eat Something Red!  For the next couple of days, we're going to be focusing on different colors of fruits and veggies.  Let's start with red.  The red color in fruits and veggies is a result of plant pigments called "lycopene" and "anthocyanins."  Lycopene, found in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer (especially prostate cancer).  Anthocyanins, founds in red berries and tons of other red produce are powerful antioxidants that fight off disease and help keep our hearts healthy.


So, today, eat some red produce and while you're doing it, talk to your kiddos, husband, friends or yourself about how they're helping keep your body healthy.

Don't forget to leave a comment here or on facebook when you've completed it!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 8

Go Local & In-Season:  Knowing and eating what is in-season locally is important for a number of reasons.  First of all, when you eat fruits and veggies that are locally in-season, it means that they have traveled a shorter amount of time to get to you.  This means they are fresher and more nutrient dense.  It's also great for the environment (a lot less energy is spent getting your food to you) and your local economy. 

Here in central Texas, it's a great time to eat citrus fruits and certain greens like kale (check out www.picktexas.com).  For today's challenge, find out what produce is in-season where you live and eat some!

Don't forget to report back and leave a comment for an entry into our drawing for a $40 Whole Foods gift card!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 7

Go Green!  Today (or the next time you can get to the store) try some greens.  Greens like spinach and kale are literally super foods.  They're loaded with iron, folate and tons of other disease fighting nutrients.  The trick is finding a way to eat them that you and you're family enjoy.  You can try cooking collard greens the traditional southern way, wilting some spinach into spaghetti sauce or soups or one of my favorite ways is making crispy kale (check out our recipe in our recipes page).


Don't forget to report back here on our facebook page to let us know how you did on this challenge!  
Who knows, you could win $40 at Whole Foods!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 6

Make a Vegetarian Meal!  As you're planning your meals this week, plan at least one dinner that is vegetarian.  This is a great way to decrease your saturated fat intake and up the veggie intake.  Here's some of my favorites (and my meat eating husband likes them too!):
Don't forget to report back and let us know how it went!  
Every comment is an entry in our $40 Whole Food's Gift card drawing!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 5

You're challenge today is to make a Superbowl snack that's loaded with either fruits or veggies.  Report back after the game and let us know how it went.  And if you got your hubby to eat it during the big game, we want the recipe!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 4

Go for 7!  Saturdays are a great chance to slow down focus on making and enjoying real food.  Today, go above and beyond and try to eat a total of 7 fruit and veggie servings throughout the day.  One serving is generally about a cup of raw fruits and veggies and a half-cup of the cooked ones. 

Good luck!  And don't forget to let us know how you did for an entry in the Whole Foods drawing!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 3

Stock your freezer!  Frozen fruits and veggies actually rival the fresh stuff in nutrient content because they're usually flash-frozen right after they're harvested.  So, keeping your freezer stocked with frozen produce is a convient (and often less expensive) way to make sure you and your family are eating plenty of fruits and veggies.  For today's challenge, add some extra fruits and veggies into your diet by trying one of the following tricks. 
  • Throw a handful of frozen blueberries into your cereal, your milk with coat them with a yummy frozen milk coating
  • Try our recipe for frozen berry oatmeal (it's a kid-favorite!)
  • Add frozen peas or broccoli to the pot the last minute you are boiling noodles.  Drain with the noodles and keep them as a part of whatever pasta you're making. (broccoli mac and cheese is so good!)
  • Sick of baby carrots?  Pack frozen corn in your lunch...it keeps other things cold and defrosts just in time to eat.
If you already do this, leave a comment with your best freezer produce trick.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Day 2

Change your snack!  Snack time is a great way to add nutrients to your day.  Today's challenge is simple, replace what you would normal grab for a snack (chips, crackers, chocolate...) with a fruit or veggie.  If you already eat fruits and veggies for your snack, leave a comment and tell us what you usually have.

Don't forget, each comment you leave here or on facebook is another entry in the drawing for a $40 Whole Foods gift card!  Also, since some challenges take some planning, you can totally leave a comment a few days late.  I just want to here from you when you do it!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Fruit and Veggie Challenge: Win a $40 Whole Foods Gift Card!

We all know that it's important to eat lots of fruits and veggies, but if we're honest, most of us aren't eating our 5-a-day minimum.  So, for the next 28 days, we have a challenge for you.  Well be posting a new tip, recipe or idea to help you and your family consume more fruits and veggies each day.  Our goal is that by the end of the month, you'll have tons of fun, easy and delicious ways to incorporate more produce into your diet.

And if being a healthier you isn't enough, we're gonna throw in a little something extra.  Each time you complete a challenge, come back and leave a comment on that days post here or on our facebook page (you have to be a blog follower or a facebook fan for it to count) and let us know how the challenge went.  Each comment you leave will be an entry into our drawing for a $40 Whole Foods Gift Card at the end of the month!

Ready to get going?  Here's today's challege:

Eat the rainbow!  Each different color in fruits and veggies represents a different vitamin, mineral or phytochemical (little disease fighters!).  Today, see if you can eat a fruit or veggie from every color of the rainbow.  Don't forget to leave a comment and let us know how you did!