Gluten-free “grain” or is it a seed?

Gluten-free “grain” or is it a seed?

By: Leanne Ely


It’s time once again for Tricks, Tips and a Recipe. Today you’ll learn a trick, a tip and you’ll get a great recipe to try it out with. Neat, huh?

Today’s focus is on: QUINOA

Quinoa is a seed that’s been around forever, though with the popularity it’s gained in recent years, you’d think it was a new invention. Quinoa has an amazing nutritional profile. This seed is gluten free, high in protein and rich in health-supportive fats.

Quinoa is full of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. It can lower your cholesterol, and it’s easy to digest.

Easy to eat, easy to cook and easy to digest, there’s much to love about quinoa.

There is a debate in the nutrition world about whether quinoa is Paleo, and I say that if it doesn’t cause you any discomfort, you go ahead and eat it. Do keep in mind, though, that though quinoa is a more nutritious option than a lot of foods, it is carb heavy, so practice good portion control.

Shop for organic, fair-trade quinoa so you know that farmers in South America are getting a fair price for their crop.


Now, it’s time for your Trick:

You can find quinoa in beige, orange, purple, green and almost every color in between. Beige is the tastiest; red is the healthiest!

Your Tip:

Always rinse your quinoa before cooking it. Quinoa has a bitter coating that must be rinsed off before you prepare it. Otherwise, it won’t taste very good. (You should also remember to drain your quinoa after cooking and let it rest for a few minutes.)

And your Recipe:

Oven Chicken Meatballs
Serves 4

1 1/4 pounds ground chicken
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 medium egg, beaten
2 cups tomato sauce
6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together the first 11 ingredients (ground chicken through the egg). With a small scoop, scoop out the mixture onto a parchment lined sheet pan.

Bake the meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes. Then pour over the tomato sauce and sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese. Return the meatballs to the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes more, or until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is bubbling.

Remove from the oven and let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

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For a sweet juicy snack pick cherries!

For a sweet juicy snack pick cherries!

By Leanne Ely


I just love the sweet, tart flavor of a juicy ripe cherry. But really, who doesn’t? Cherries are not only delicious, these delicate little fruits are also very healthy. If you suffer from gout pain, you probably already know that cherries can help prevent flareups but there’s much more to cherries than that.

Cherries are known to reduce inflammation in the body and if you eat them on a regular basis, you’ll find they can also help reduce muscle pain. Some studies have actually shown that eating cherries on a daily basis is similar to regularly taking ibuprofen.

Cherries are also a good source of vitamin A, E and C, and they’re a yummy way to get your fiber into you.

Tart cherries are available year round, and I use them frequently in savory dishes. During the summer when sweet cherries (also known as dark cherries) are in season, I am constantly snacking on them and tossing them into salads.

So what else is there to know about cherries?


It’s time for your Trick:

Cherries bruise easily and they are very perishable. Cherries will only stay fresh in the fridge for a few days so eat them shortly after bringing them home.

And your Tip:

When shopping for cherries, look for fruit with the stem still attached. The stem should be nice and green and not wilted. A fresh looking stem is a sign that the fruit was picked recently.

And your Recipe:
Sweet and Tangy Cherry Baked Turkey Strips
Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 pound boneless skinless turkey breast meat, cut into 1-inch strips
1/2 pound black cherries, pitted and chopped (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender-crisp. Add turkey, cherries, broth, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar; blend well. Bring mixture to a slow boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove skillet lid and stir in basil; cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Meanwhile, in a cup, combine cornstarch and water; stir into sauce and cook just until thickened. Serve immediately.

I adore cherries and one of my favorite ways to enjoy them is turning them into epic smoothies! Here’s my favorite Chocolate Cherry Smoothie recipe!


Why I love coconut milk (it’s probably not what you think!)

Why I love coconut milk (it’s probably not what you think!)

By: Leanne Ely


Happy Tuesday, Y’all!

It’s time once again for Tricks, Tips and a Recipe. Today you’ll learn a tip, a trick and you’ll get a great recipe to try it out with. Neat, huh?

Today’s focus is on: COCONUT MILK

There are a lot of producers of coconut milk making it easy to pick up this delicious drink at the grocery store. Easy to swap dairy milk for coconut milk, it’s always in my blender in the mornings, making my breakfast in a glass smoothie!

Coconut milk is rich in MCT (medium chain triglycerides) which gets used for fuel and is not stored as fat and satiates, keeping you full. Coconut milk is also rich zinc (think pretty skin), potassium (helps normalize blood pressure) and selenium (may decrease joint inflammation).

After all that, I know you’re going to want to keep some in your fridge!


Here’s a TRICK:

Slip a little coconut milk in your cooking (fabulous with curries!) the antimicrobial nature of the coconut milk will help keep the cooties at bay!

And a TIP:

You can buy coconut milk in the can or the dairy case. My recommendation is go with the fresh stuff (So Delicious and Silk both make it, as does Trader Joe’s if you’re fortunate to live near one). Not only is it cheaper this way, but it’s fresher, too.

And your RECIPE:

Lemon Infused Crab Cakes


16 ounces crab meat
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup almond flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground mustard seed
1/8 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 large egg

To Assemble: In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together.

On a large sheet of plastic wrap, take crab meat mixture and pat into patties. Wrap each crab cake individually.
In a 1 gallon freezer bag, add wrapped crab cakes.

Seal bag, squeezing out excess air.

To prevent freezer burn, place the filled bag in a second 1-gallon freezer bag; carefully squeeze the bag to force out any air, then seal. On the outside of the bag, label with the recipe name and date of preparation; place it in the freezer.


Defrost your freezer meal the night before in the fridge. If you don’t have a full thaw at cooking time, remove it from the holding bags and place it in a sink of water to speed-thaw your food. New rules allow for thawing in hot water (100 degrees) with no issues regarding quality or safety (old rules said to use cold water for thawing, but this is no longer necessary – hot water is fast, effective and safe).


At time of cooking ingredients:
2 teaspoons olive oil

Cooking Instructions: In a large skillet, heat oil over medium and add crab cakes. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until brown on the outside and cooked through on the inside. Serve warm.

If you want more fabulous recipes like this one (which is from our current Freezer Menu), click here!


What sweetener protects against allergies?

What sweetener protects against allergies?

By: Leanne Ely


In an earlier blog post, I talked about the importance of honeybees, so naturally I wanted to feature honey in today’s post. After reading this article, you’ll have a great trick, a new tip and a fabulous recipe featuring my favorite sweetener—honey!

(Now, in case you didn’t read that article, I strongly recommend you do that. You can find it here.)

Honey is one of the few sweeteners in the world that actually has huge health benefits. Honey is antifungal, antiviral and antimicrobial. That’s because bees produce a substance called propolis to fix cracks in the hive and to keep their home secure. It’s basically like bee caulking. This propolis is deposited into the honey and we reap the benefits when we eat it. Cool, huh?

Besides being delicious, honey also contains phytonutrients which protect against cancer.


Now for your Trick:

Watch out for “honey blend” products you see in the grocery stores. That is not pure honey and often contains high fructose corn syrup! These manufacturers are required by law to label their product as a “blend” so watch for that word. Best bet is to buy local honey when at all possible.

There’s another reason why you should eat local honey and you’ll learn that in your…


A teaspoon of local honey each day may help keep allergies away. When you eat local honey, the pollens that upset your allergies end up in the honey you eat. Rather than making you sick, this actually inoculates you, almost vaccinating you against local allergens. This worked miracles for me, but your mileage may vary. If you can’t find local honey, go to

And your Recipe:

Cabbage and Sausage Stir-Fry
Serves 4

1 pound pork sausage meat
1 small onion, sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons raw honey
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups chopped kale


In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, cook sausage meat over medium heat for 10 minutes or until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.

Discard all but 1 tablespoon of drippings from the skillet and reduce heat to low. Add next 5 ingredients (onion through honey); cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add cabbage and kale; cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add cooked sausage meat; blend well then heat through; serve warm.


Check out this rad root – Horseradish!

Check out this rad root – Horseradish!

By: Leanne Ely


Horseradish is the perfect condiment for dipping roast beef, a key element in a zippy seafood sauce and a secret ingredient for an extra spicy Bloody Mary but it’s so much more!

This terribly ugly root vegetable is as rich in health benefits as it is pungent in flavor.

Pressed against your forehead, the raw leaves of the horseradish plant can cure a headache. Brewed into a tea, the plants flowers can fight the common cold. And a poultice made from horseradish root can even sooth aching joints when applied externally, at the source of discomfort.

Related quite closely to mustard, cabbage and a slew of other cruciferous veggies, the root, leaves and flowers of the horseradish plant have been used medicinally for centuries to fight the flu, tonsillitis, urinary tract infections, and all sorts of other ailments.

Thanks to some intensive recent studies, we now know that horseradish is chock full of cancer-fighting compounds to boot.

Compounds called glucosinolates give horseradish its trademark hot taste. Those glucosinolates are superheroes of the cancer fighting world. They have the ability to actually suppress tumor growth and to detoxify the body of carcinogens.

Researchers have discovered that horseradish has significantly higher amounts of glucosinolates than other cruciferous vegetables. In fact, this spicy root contains ten times more glucosinolates than broccoli does.

So you know it’s good for you, but how do you use it?

• Horseradish is delicious with red meat. Put a dab of horseradish on your steak or alongside some roast beef for a nutritious flavor boost.
• Serve with sushi, in place of wasabi.
• Add a bit of horseradish to your salad dressings.
• Smear a little horseradish on your sandwiches.
• Put some horseradish in your hummus.


Now it’s time for your Trick:

If you choose to purchase fresh horseradish roots, look for those that are firm and avoid any that appear to be shriveled or dried up. Avoid those that have started to sprout. Use it within a week or two.

Your Tip:

Go ahead and buy the jarred horseradish to save yourself the trouble of chopping up the root yourself. Scientists have discovered that when horseradish is processed its cancer-fighting abilities are increased. Prepared horseradish will last in the fridge for three months, though it’s best to use it up before it loses its pungency, within 4 weeks.

And your Recipe:

Broiled Asian Steak
Serves 4

1 clove garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Hot sauce, to taste
1 1/2 pounds beef top round steak, trimmed

In a shallow glass dish, combine first 8 ingredients (garlic through hot sauce); blend well. Using a sharp knife, score the flesh of the steak in a diamond pattern, cutting into it about 1/8-inch deep; place in the dish and turn to coat both sides with the marinade then allow it to stand for 30 minutes, turning several times. Preheat oven broiler. Drain marinade into a small saucepan and set aside. Place steak under oven broiler, 4 inches from heat source; broil for 8 to 10 minutes (for medium-rare) or to desired level of doneness, turning once; transfer to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Bring reserved marinade to a boil over high heat and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Slice steak across the grain (diagonally) into thin slices and serve with marinade.