Peggy, Week 2: Creating Healthy New Recipes

Today I packed a healthy lunch: a salad with lettuce, pomegranates, feta cheese, baby cucumber and black cherry tomatoes with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Dinner will have a new twist as well. I’m thinking soup: homemade chicken and vegetable soup (since I have leftover rotisserie chicken, carrots, corn, onion and these little baby potatoes). This is so easy I left the recipe for my daughter, Amanda, to make, since I will be working late.

Melissa’s sent us baby coconuts and a recipe for coconut rice. You use the coconut water in place of regular water to make Basmati or Jasmine rice.  There is an average of 12-16 ounces (1 3/4 to 2 cups) of liquid per coconut. This sounds like it might be good with pineapple, pepper, onion and chicken or shrimp BBQ skewers, so I may try it later this week.

The only way to discover if you like something new is to try it. Leave me a comment and tell me about something new you tried this week.

Tiffany, Week 2: Our Favorite New Healthy Foods

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Fruits and veggies…are you getting enough?  Chances are probably not.  I know the Lehmans were not!

As you know this month’s challenge is all about eating as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Melissa’s is sending us fresh produce for the month and those shipments include things we would have NEVER thought to use.

Like many we are a very busy family and we don’t have a lot of time to stop and prepare vegetables and fruits. So Melissa’s sent us dried fruit. LOVE dried fruit now because of this challenge. It is so good to just throw some dried blueberries into a salad or eat dried mango as a on-the-go snack.

Another one of my favorite things Melissa’s sent to us is quinoa!  We loved quinoa before Melissa’s sent it to us but we had no idea how versatile it was until Chef Miki from Melissa’s told us different ways to prepare it. One way that I really love is to take a cup of rinsed and drained quinoa, cook it with a cup of water and a cup of apple juice, teaspoon of ground cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg, raisins and then follow the package direction. Yummy breakfast and especially good if someone has a gluten allergy or sensitive to wheat/gluten. Another wonderful thing we love about quinoa is that we can make a large batch at once and freeze it and it keeps well and we’re able to grab it and go.

I can’t wait to hear the ways you’ve started to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily lives! Leave a comment below!

Challenge Yourself: Make Your Smoothies Healthier

To up her daily fruit intake, Peggy is starting her day with healthy mango-strawberry smoothies. Blended drinks are great ways to work fruits and veggies into your diet–as long as they’re not laden down with sugary syrups and juices or fatty ice cream.

Check out five delicious smoothies you can enjoy guilt-free.

What’s your favorite healthy smoothie recipe? Tell us in the comments below.

Peggy, Week 2: A Healthy New Way to Start the Day

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No matter where I go on vacation, I love coming home and to sleeping in my own bed.  Why is that? I suppose everyone loves the familiar.

I returned to find the house full of new and exotic fruits and vegetables, care of Melissa’s organic produce: baby coconuts and yellow mangoes, black cherry tomatoes and pomegranates.

The chef wants to expand our horizons. The truth is if it wasn’t already sitting on my kitchen table, I’d never have known what a jackfruit was—let alone think of picking one up at the store. Have they ever even used it as the secret ingredient in Iron Chef? Luckily, Mellissa’s provided us with a cookbook (Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce) and a vegetable identifier book (Melissa’s Great Book of Produce).

This morning, I am starting the day off with an easy mango-strawberry smoothie:

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup mango
  • 6 ounces Greek yogurt
  • 8 ice cubes

I made one for my kids, too. Normally, I just have tea.

Post a comment and let me know what your favorite smoothie is.

Challenge Yourself: Sneak Veggies Into Every Meal

Penne Rapini

Tiffany told us how she now has more energy from increasing her daily fruit and veggie intake. Her secret:

Just adding spinach to my eggs or making sure with each meal we have a fruit or a vegetable.

It may seem intimidating at first, but once you start sneaking chopped fruits or vegetables into your meals, you’ll find that it becomes easier to do so regularly. In addition to making you feel fuller, by bringing healthy bulk to your food, they also add extra flavor, texture and color–all the more appetizing!

Check out these great recipes that stealthily incorporate more veggies into weeknight dinners.

What’s your favorite way to sneak fruits and veggies into meals? Share in the comments below.