#HH30Days Snacktime!

 

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So have you signed up for the #HH30Days challenge yet? I have! And I am determined to stick to it for 30 days!  How do I plan on doing that while also working full time and dealing with life in general? Good question!

Planning

So let’s think about this: if I want to eat healthy things, then I have to have healthy things available to me. That means I need to shop on HH’s site for delicious things that I want to eat, and it just so happens that one of my favorite things on the planet is tzatziki. To be even more specific, Cava Mezze’s tzatziki. I’ve googled online for the recipe more times than I care to admit, but now I don’t have to because I can just order it and have it ready-made and in my bag on my delivery morning. JACK. POT. I could eat it with a spoon, but I use celery instead:

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Another favorite is guacamole and chips, but I keep it healthy by substituting red peppers for chips.  Still delicious!

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Prep work

For me, and for many people I think, the most important part of the week is the part before it even starts. Basically, Sunday night. If I prepare and plan on Sunday night, then I have healthy options in the fridge that make it easy to grab and go. If I have to work late, then I have to take all of my meals with me, and that’s especially doable if I have a fridge full of healthy prepared meals. So I take all the yummy things I got in my bag and make them into something delicious. This week, it was a quinoa salad with corn, black beans, red peppers, mango, and…spring garlic! I am obsessed with it lately!

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PROTEIN (MY BFF)

So really, my sister is my BFF, but protein is a close second.   It helps me feel full on fewer calories, so that’s a win right there.

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Pairing protein and veggies or fruit is an excellent way to feel full on a smaller total amount of calories. For example, celery and tzatziki (can you tell I love that snack?), carrots and hummus, an apple and peanut butter, hard boiled eggs…it’s all a win, because they will keep you feeling satiated and not ravenous for longer than a bag of chips will.

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Share your favorite healthy snack below!

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Beets: A Faster Cooking Method and Quick Salad Recipe

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Do you follow Homtown Harvest on Instagram? You should! There are a lot of fun photos about life on the farm, one of which inspired this post!

Beets are, in my opinion, a misunderstood vegetable. They have a reputation for being a pain to make, taking forever to cook, and they even stain clothes/cutting boards/hands. If any of these complaints sounds like something you’d say, you are in luck!  This post will show you how to make a quick and easy beet salad with just a few ingredients, and in much less time than roasting will take. I even have a hack for getting the skin off and chopping beets without getting your hands covered or stained with beet juice!

Here is the salad. It’s so easy; just chopped beets, slices of fresh avocado, some fresh scallions, soy sauce, and sesame seeds.

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While roasting is a delicious option, you can also cook beets just like you would boil potatoes. It takes about 25 minutes (versus 45-60 minutes for roasting) and a pot of water often heats faster than an oven, in my experience.

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Just pop these pretty beets in the pot of boiling water and let them hang out until they are fork tender, approximately 25-30 minutes, depending on how big the beets are.  The bigger they are, the longer they will take.

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You should be able to do this with a fork in each beet when they are done:

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25 minutes of cooking time?  My impatient self loves it!

Then comes the part that is often messy: peeling the beets and chopping them up. I used to scrub my hands with hot water and soap to get the color off of my skin and fingernails until I realized I could just use a plastic baggie (or kitchen gloves, if you have them) to keep my hands clean but still give me a grip on the beets. It’s great!

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To put together this salad of healthy fats and vitamin-rich beets, simply take the chopped beets and arrange them with avocado slices. To get the avocado out of its skin while keeping its shape, just run your finger along the outer edge of the avocado, and it will slide right out.

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Top with 1 chopped scallion, 1 tsp. soy sauce drizzled over the salad, and then sprinkle with ½ Tbsp. sesame seeds. Enjoy!
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Sesame Rainbow Carrot Salad

Bag items: rainbow carrots, scallions, lime, ginger, avocado, red pepper

While we’re hopeful that the high humidity “wet blanket” days of summer are behind us, I developed this recipe to avoid turning on my oven during a particularly icky stretch last month. Delicious food with no cooking? Sign me up!

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I went out to lunch with a friend recently and had a tofu salad that was so delicious, I had to recreate it. With the beautiful rainbow carrots in my delivery this week, it was an easy decision about what to use as the base of the salad. I julienned the carrots, though a mandoline slicer would work even better, something I thought about after nearly julienning my thumb! I’d very much recommend against julienning anything but the carrots 🙂

This salad is light and refreshing, tasty, and it is just plain pretty to look at. All of the colors of the carrots with the avocado, red peppers, and tofu look beautiful together. The tofu adds protein, and the avocado has healthy fats that make this salad feel satisfying.  If you heard that carrots are good for your vision, well, there is some definite truth to that; your body benefits from the vitamin A in the carrots, with over 200 percent of your recommended daily allowance for vitamin A in a serving!  This healthy salad would be a great light lunch, and it even holds up well in the fridge. If you plan on making it ahead of time, just add the avocado when you are ready to serve so that it doesn’t break down before you get to eat it.

I started by julienning these pretty carrots.

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Then I added the other ingredients and mixed up the dressing.

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Stir to combine, then top with additional green onions and sesame seeds to garnish, if you’d like.

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Sesame Rainbow Carrot Salad

For the salad:

6 rainbow carrots, julienned

4 scallions, chopped, plus more for garnish

15 oz. extra firm tofu, pressed to remove liquid, then chopped into 1-inch cubes

1 avocado, sliced

½ red pepper, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, plus more for garnish

For the dressing:

½ fresh lime, juiced

1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated

½ tsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. canola oil

1 ½ tsp. rice vinegar

1 tsp. yellow miso paste

2 tsp. brown sugar

Instructions

  • Press your tofu by wrapping it in paper towels and putting either a book or heavy pan on top to press some of the liquid out. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Julienne the carrots, then chop scallions, red pepper, and tofu, and slice the avocado.
  • Put all of your ingredients in a bowl, and pour dressing over top. Toss your salad, then serve immediately, and garnish with more sesame seeds and scallions, if desired.