Hints & Tips

Freeze Your Herbs to Extend Shelf Life

Tonight for dinner we made cilantro-lime chicken in the slow cooker. It was delicious, tender, flavorful, and the chicken turned into perfect shreds. But today I’m not here to tell you about this recipe, but instead to give you a tip on using fresh herbs.

A common problem I have is I’ll be making a recipe that calls for a small amount of one particular herb… but at the grocery store I can only buy a large amount of that particular herb. In the past I’ve let the extra herb go to waste because I don’t know how else to use it.

But finally I tried out the idea of freezing leftover herbs and let me tell you it works perfectly! All the freshness of my cilantro was retained and tasted great in my chicken dish tonight.

I’ve only tried freezing cilantro, but I imagine the process and the results would be the same for any herb. I chopped up my cilantro as fine as i could, added just a tiny bit of olive oil to get the herbs to bind together (remember, less is more with the oil!) and then scooped the mixture into ice cube trays.

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When you’re ready to use it, pop the herb cubes out and add to you favorite dish. You can let the cubes thaw before adding if your making something chilled, like a salad dressing. And finally, it’s best to use the frozen herbs within the month in order to have the best freshness.

If anyone gives this a try with a different herb, please let me know your results!

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Thoughts of a Dietitian

‘Clean eating’ is a fuzzy term — and that’s why it works

So this evening I came across this 5 minute podcast titled ‘Clean eating’ is a fuzzy term — and that’s why it works… as you can imagine this title instantly caught my attention.

First off, for those of you who listen to podcasts, I use the Audible App on my phone. It connected to my Amazon Prime account and the channel that I found this particular podcast on is called Get Smart in 20 Minutes or Less. 

However, if podcasts aren’t you thing or you don’t feel like downloading the app, then the original article can also be accessed here on the Washington Post.

The gist of the article is that everyone and anyone can eat clean. because, well… there’s no formal definition of what clean eating is. You decide what works for you, what foods you want to put into your body, which ones are a no-g0, and how often you want to follow it (ie. omit weekends, omit holidays)! As a soon to be dietitian, I like this concept and I think it’s something I follow without even realizing it.

I typically feed my body very well,  I always have and the more I learn about food, the more it propels me to make healthier choices. But the thing is, I still don’t eat perfectly and the perfect example of this is one day when my boyfriend and I were making buffalo chicken dip. I made him buy the organic, GMO-free, corn tortilla chips. Yet, the next item we purchased was canned chicken. My boyfriend instantly caught the irony in this shopping trip. To me, the organic chips might have been a bit more expensive, but I tend to be weary of GMOs when it comes to corn. On the other hand, while canned chicken might gross some people out, it doesn’t gross me out… I see it as a easy protein source.

Whether you agree with me or not is not the point, the point of the blog post, and the podcast, is identify what sorts of foods make you feel well and eat more of those. Set limits for yourself and enjoy everything in moderation. Small changes add up to big results. Use the vague term of ‘clean eating’ to your advantage and jump on the clean eating train today!

Recipes

My Take on Shepard’s Pie

Happy Hump Day, Friends! Today I want to share with you a recipe that I cooked for dinner last night, and let me tell you- it was delicious! (Also made great left overs for tonight’s meal.)

The inspiration for this recipe came from Food and Nutrition Magazine. I sauteed shallots, garlic, carrots, and frozen peas together, then added my brown lentils and cooked for about 30 minutes. I used arrowroot to thicken the sauce.

In a separate pan, I prepared the rutabaga exactly as described in the original recipe. And finally, I sauteed some grass-fed ground beef in a third pan. We have so much grass-fed beef in our freezer, I am always looking for unique ways to utilize it.

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I then mixed my meat and veggies together into a 9×13 pan; spread my mashed rutabaga over the top and placed in a 400 degree oven to brown.

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As you can see this recipe is an easy one to adapt! Use whatever veggies you have in your refrigerator and if you stick with the original recipe you have a great vegan dish for entertaining.

 

Thoughts of a Dietitian

Setting Personal Goals This Month

After having just finished a relaxing home facial, I decided it was the perfect time to sit down and let you guys know about my big plans for this month! My plan is two-fold, although both parts are focusing on me and my well being.

This first thing I plan to do this month is to complete a daily journal exercise before bed. I have decided on three things I want to jot down each night:

  1. Something positive, or something I am thankful for, that happened today.
  2. A specific quality, or quote, that I want to focus on tomorrow.
  3. What I love about Brad today.

My reasoning for choosing those three things to focus on this month is to help create a more positive environment for myself. I for one find it’s much easier to be negative, then it is to be positive. But I also think positive thinking is a habit, and when you continue to find positive things in your daily life, you continue to attract more and more positivity. The great thing about this exercise is that it can be tailored to your life style. Do you want to journal in the morning instead of the evening? Do you want to just write down one thing that makes you happy? Do whatever you think is going to bring the most happiness into your life!

The second thing I plan on doing this month is a daily yoga practice.Yoga is awesome for many reasons, but this month I want to focus on using yoga to improve my mental health (decreased stressed, decreased anxiety, increased ability to focus on breath, etc.) There’s a yoga channel on YouTube that did a 31 day challenge for January (Yoga with Adriene); I plan on using a lot of these videos for my own practice, and then allowing myself the flexibility to search for other videos on YouTube if there’s a particular area I want to focus on one day.

I am really excited about both of these goals I have set for myself for February! I can’t wait to see where I am in 28 days. I will be sure to blog about my progress and results throughout the month! And remember, even if you are just seeing this and it’s already a few days into the month, it’s never too late to set some goals of your own.