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Eating Clean is a Challenge

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These days, eating clean is a challenge. Meal selection can seem impossible after trying so many options that didn’t work.

I could judge by my family’s quiet and enthusiastic enjoyment of our meal that we had found a healthy and simple combination that works.

Let me tell you how we got to this point – stay with me and read on.

Mom’s know time and convenience is key. We don’t have the time to always eat properly, with all the school commitments, work obligations and busy evenings.

So how do you make healthy eating a priority? You use the resources available to you and read as much as you can on the topic.

A good place to start is this web site EatSmart.net and read the blog articles No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Preservatives Label. You NEED TO KNOW this stuff!!

I learned about the No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Preservatives Label initiative which means that consumer products using this label have “No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Preservatives.” We all know we must stop eating products with these additives.

So, I began looking for alternatives that are nutritious, high quality and taste great. These options need to be sustainable, not a “flash in the pan fad food”.

I started by looking at our proteins and decided we need an equally nutritious partner. And now I am sure we found it.

Gourmet Salad Kits by Eat Smart

While shopping at our local grocery store I found Gourmet Salad Kits by Eat Smart. They offer 3 different flavors; Sweet Kale, Strawberry Harvest and Sunflower Kale.

Sign up for the Eat Smart e- Newsletter subscribe under “Receive Exclusive Offer” on bottom right of the website homepage

I couldn’t stop myself from picking up the Salad Shake Ups which offer the same No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Preservatives Label promise. These Salad kits come in a specially designed re-lockable lid (for easy and clean mixing).

We will talk about these amazing Vegetable meals on-the-go later.

Preparing the Salads is as simple and easy as opening the bag of vegetables, empty a portion to be used in a mixing bowl.

Open and add the ingredients provided and add dressing as desired and mix it well. Let the Salad stand for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the Salad flavors to develop.

We now have two (2) ingredient favorite recipes Featuring Gourmet Salad Kits. Try Strawberry Harvest Gourmet Salad and Grilled Salmon and Sunflower Kale or Sweet Kale Gourmet Salad with Grilled Chicken. This is so simple!

Eating Clean is a Challenge

Well, I hope you are as excited as we are to have discovered this healthy and simple alternative for busy modern Families.

We all know eating clean is a challenge. Check out the sister article on Fast Lunch Solutions the Smart Way – the best No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Preservatives Label meal solution we have found for busy people on-the-go.

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Breads/Soups/Salads

Potato and Cheddar Vegetable Soup Recipe

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Now that Fall is in the air and the days are getting cooler, Potato and Cheddar Vegetable Soup Recipe makes it’s way onto the weekly menu.

I love simple and flavorful soups and this hearty potato and cheddar vegetable soup recipe is just that.

Loaded with fresh veggies and cheddar cheese, this vegetable soup can be ready to serve in about 30 minutes.

What I love most about this soup is if you don’t have a certain vegetable, substitute for whatever you have in the fridge.

Peppers could be added, spinach and kale as well. This is the recipe that we love, and the boys will actually eat.

Serve with fresh bread and sharp cheddar (or even a jalapeno jack).

Potato and Cheddar Vegetable Soup Recipe

Freeze whatever leftovers you have and save them for another night.

This soup freezes really well and only needs reheating to enjoy.

Keep warm this Fall with this healthy potato and cheddar vegetable soup.

What you will need:

  • 2 large russet potatoes; peeled and quartered
  • 2 large carrots; cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 3 stalks of celery; diced
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 large onion; chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube *or chicken
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 cups water

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Breads/Soups/Salads

Smokey Ham and Lentil Pasta Salad

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A lentil pasta salad may not seem like it should be a staple in your house but trust me when I say it should be.

With smokey ham and three different types of vegetables lentil pasta salad is a healthy side or main dish.

Kids and adults will enjoy it.

Smokey Ham and Lentil Pasta salad is also a great pick for your next potluck.

Just increase the amount of the ingredients as needed.

There is mayonnaise in the dish so it will need to be kept chilled but since it can be served cold it is still a good option for summer picnics.

Smokey Ham And Lentil Pasta Salad Recipe

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 8oz penne pasta, cooked & drained
  • 1/2 lb lentils
  • 1/2 lb ham steak, cubed
  • 1 small broccoli crown, chopped
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup Italian Dressing
  • 2/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

To prepare the lentils, soak them for 10 minutes (even though the bag says no soaking required).

It will speed up the cooking process.

Remove any that float to the surface, these are more than likely dried up and do not need to be in your finished dish.

Drain the water and start fresh cooking per the bag instructions.

Add a few cubes of ham to the lentils while they cook.

When the lentils are fork tender (be careful not to over cook or they will be mushy), remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl- add the dressing and mayonnaise.

Mix well.

Add the pasta, chopped broccoli, diced red pepper, peas, cubed ham and cold lentils.

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Breads/Soups/Salads

Super Moist Apple Butter Banana Bread with Printable Recipe

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Super Moist Apple Butter Banana Bread with Printable Recipe

I’m not a pro in the kitchen, not even close.

With a  family of 4 to feed I am there what seems like constantly.

I love banana bread and thought I could elevate it by adding Musselman’s Apple Butter to the mix.

Adding Musselman’s Apple Butter to banana bread made the loaf super moist. It is a new staple in our house.

Ingredients:

1 c. Brown Sugar

1/2 c. Musselman’s Apple Butter

2 eggs

1 1/2 c. Mashed Banana

4 T. Milk

2 c. All Purpose Flour

2 t. Baking Powder

1 t. Vanilla

Additional Musselman’s Apple Butter for topping

Directions:

Mix Sugar and Apple Butter.

Add one egg at a time and beat well.

Add Mashed Banana and Milk and Blend

Mix together Flour and Baking Powder in a separate bowl.

Add to the other mixture and blend.

Add Vanilla and blend.

Batter will be thick.

Pour into greased bunt or bread pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Once cooled remove from pan and drizzle with melted Apple Butter.

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