5 Steps to a Perfect Salad

Detox-Quinoa-Salad

1) Include fresh herbs.
Any and all of them.  Throw in some basil, parsley, cilantro, mint…it will totally take your salad to the next level.

2) Make sure you have something crunchy.
Try toasted pumpkin seeds, raw slivered almonds, kimchee, raw carrots, radish, cucumbers, jicama or cut up kohlrabi (a completely forgotten and super yummy veggie).

3) Season that baby up!
Use quality sea salt, pepper, garlic powder and make sure you really work your dressing into the greens.  Even distribution is key (and that way you won’t need to use as much)!

**Our secret to the perfect dressing is 2 parts good quality oil + 2 parts acid (vinegar or citrus) + 1 part Dijon mustard.  A little S & P and you’re good to go!

4) Always include something unexpected.
Try sliced banana, blueberries, granola, seaweed snacks, scrambled eggs, or any leftovers (like curry or stir fries).

5) Go for a chop-chop.
Put it all on a board and take out your aggression by chopping all of your ingredients into easy, bite size pieces.

For even more salad inspiration check out all the salads from #SaladFest2013

What are your favorite salad ingredients and dressings?  Share the love down below.

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Saucy: Overnight Oats

This power breakfast is so simple it will blow your mind.  All you need are 3 ingredients and 3 minutes, and BOOM!  You’ll have a filling on-the-go breakfast that really gets you moving.

We give our favorite recipes for Overnight Oats below, but watch the video for bonus tips and fun facts about all the ingredients.

Overnight Oats
Servings: 1
Active time: 3 minutes// Total time: Overnight

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup milk: almond, coconut or organic cow’s milk
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions

Combine oats, milk and a pinch of sea salt.  Mix well.  We recommend putting everything in a mason jar, but you can just put it in bowl or tupperware.  Cover and put oats in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, mix in ingredients to create any of the following flavor combinations.

Banana Nut
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon real honey
  • ½ banana chopped
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Strawberries and Cream

  • 1/4 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Honey Nut 
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

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Your Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is just around the corner (and this year it falls on Channukah! Even more holiday fun), so it’s time to start planning your menu or thinking about what show stopping dish you’ll be bringing to your pot luck feast.

To help make this year’s holiday cooking as simple and FUN as possible, we are providing a completely comprehensive, tried and true recipe guide.

Firstly, when it comes to the bird this is all you need to know.

thanksgiving sides

For side dishes & dessert (which are the best parts anyway), follow this fool proof menu…

Gluten Free Quinoa Stuffing

Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Cauliflower Parsnip & Apple Puree

Cranberry Citrus (Awesome) Sauce

Gluten Free Apple & Pear Crumble

Spiced Pumpkin & Dark Chocolate Cupcakes


In our Healthy Basics Cookbook you can find other perfect recipes (for the Holidays or any time) like…

Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet Balsamic Collards with Pine Nuts

Roasted Veggies topped with Vanilla Roasted Nuts (uh-mazing)

We’d love to see what you make!  Inspire us, and the rest of the Cooking Camp Crew by posting your pics on our Facebook page.  

turkeys

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Gluten Free Orange & Sage Quinoa Stuffing

This recipe has all the flavor a classic Thanksgiving stuffing…but won’t leave you with a raging gluten hangover.

Because so many of our Campers avoid “the glu” (our sometimes code-name for gluten) we wanted to give you a Thanksgiving option that has all the flavors and fixins’ you’ll  find in a traditional stuffing but give it a totally whole-grain, healthified makeover.

Preeeetty sure we nailed it with this one.  What do you think?

quinoa stuffing

Gluten Free Orange Quinoa and Sage Stuffing
Servings: 6-8
Time: 40 minutes

  • 2 cups quinoa, well rinsed
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp dried sage OR 2 tablespoons chopped fresh
  • 1 tsp dried parsley OR ¼ cup chopped fresh
  • ½ cup of walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped (can use white button, baby bellas or any kind)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for cooking plus more quinoa
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

*Note: save a little parsley, zest and walnuts for garnishing at the end

Directions

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot.  Then add your quinoa, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer, then cook the quinoa for 15 minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed (quinoa will continue to bake in oven so it’s okay if it’s a little wetter than usual).

In a separate pan heat extra virgin olive oil on medium-high heat.  Sauté onions with garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown, about 6-7 minutes.

Add celery, mushrooms and herbs and season generously with salt and pepper.  Continue to cook an additional 5-6 minutes (until mushrooms begin to brown).

Toss cooked veggies and herbs into a baking dish with quinoa, orange zest and walnuts and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Garnish with an additional sprinkle of parsley, zest and walnuts and serve.

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Mercury Levels in Fish

By now you’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t eat too much fish because it’s high in mercury.  But like many people, you might also be wondering, what does mercury do to me and why is it found in fish?

Here’s the deal:

Mercury is a metal that exists naturally in the environment.  But we humans do things that negatively impact the environment, such as factory farming, burning coal, and using mercury in manufacturing.  This increases the amount mercury that flows through the air, water, and soil.

When in water, mercury changes its form and becomes methylmercury. Fishies absorb this mercury just like we often inhale bad chemicals when we breath in oxygen.

All fish and shellfish have some level of mercury, but it’s typically not a huge deal because fish also have so many health benefits.   However, if you eat fish ALL the time, or choose varieties that are higher in mercury (see chart below) it can be potentially harmful.

The good news is, mercury will leave the body over time in the urine, feces, and breast milk.  The bad news is if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding that mercury could have detrimental effects on your little one.

Mercury can also have nevetive effects on us grown ups.  Remember when Jeremy Piven had to drop out of a Broadway show?  Yeah, mercury poisoning is a real thing so read up below and be in the know…

fish_mercury

Chart from Canton Becker

NOTE: Mercury is only an issue with wild caught fish even so, this option is WAY better than farm raised fish.  Fish that are farmed are fed a completely unnatural diet, including dyes to make their flesh appear more vibrant and they are kept in confined spaces where they can’t get enough exercise.

Always, always, always avoid farm raised fish!!!

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