Trick or Treat: Homemade Soup Instead of Pizza on Halloween

Jennifer Lynds' "Bride of Frankenstein" Wedding Soup

Jennifer Lynds’ “Bride of Frankenstein” Wedding Soup

When it comes to pizza sales nationwide, Halloween comes in second only to Super Bowl Sunday.  Don’t get me wrong, the occasional take-out pizza is a quick fix crowd-pleaser that comes in handy once in awhile.  But I’m convinced that on Halloween, arguably the unhealthiest day of the year, it pays to plan ahead and prepare a fast, healthy dinner to counter all those sugary treats.

Yes, yes I understand that Halloween is a once-a-year celebration.  But the chilly nighttime weather combined with all that excess sugar makes it even more more important to fill our kids with a warm, nourishing dinner before trick-or-treating.  This year, I’m making my “Bride of Frankenstein” Wedding Soup a week in advance, freezing it, and throwing it in the crock pot on the morning of.  Made in advance, this festively-named soup is an easy alternative to pizza, a perfect Halloween dinner for your little ghosts and goblins

I’ve posted my recipe below.  If you can get away with it, add cabbage to the soup to help stabilize your kids’ blood sugar levels.  And be sure to stop by again next week for a fun, engaging, and patriotic idea to manage your kids candy stashes.

1Aisle Supermom Jennifer Lynds

Jennifer Lynds is a mother of three (Jack, 6; Mark, 8; Rachel, 12) from Warren, PA.  Her approach to healthy eating includes obtaining the majority of her food locally and minimizing food waste.

 


Bride of Frankenstein Wedding Soup

1 qt organic chicken stock
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1/2 medium onion diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1/2 lb of chicken or chicken meatballs (recipe to follow)
Israeli couscous or small sized pasta
Salt/pepper
Various herbs
1-2 Tbsp olive oil

Heat oil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add onions, carrots and celery. Sauté vegetables for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1-2 additional minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add chicken. Cook for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. At this point you could serve the soup, place it in the crock pot on low or cool it and freeze it.

Before serving, cook the couscous or pasta according to package directions.  Portion cooked post into individual bools, add soup, and top with and top with fresh parsley or basil.

Chicken Meatballs

Ground chicken
1 egg
1/2 c bread crumbs
1 Clove garlic diced or shredded
Salt and pepper
Splash of water

Add all ingredients and mix well. Add just enough bread crumbs to bind – not dry out – mixture.  Add to boiling stock. Cook for 20 min or until cooked thoroughly.

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Food Equals Control for Breast Cancer Survivor

Leasa Ireland 1

Editor’s note:   If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you should consult a doctor before taking additional supplements or making changes to your diet.

In recognition of breast cancer awareness month, Leasa Ireland opens up about how a holistic approach to treatment was instrumental in her recovery from a very aggressive stage 2A triple (ER/PR/HER2) positive form of breast cancer.

Following her diagnosis in September 2011, the Manhattan Beach-based PR executive immediately consulted with UCLA Anesthesiologist Dr. Kenneth Conklin to put together a program to get her through a year-long combination of chemotherapy (4 months) and Herceptin (12 months) treatment.

“Dr. Concklin needs to know specifically what chemotherapy drugs you are on and he tailors a program for you,” says Ireland.  “I was on a gluten-, dairy-, and sugar-free diet and taking tons of supplements (80/day).  In the time between my mastectomy and when I started chemo – about 5 weeks – I felt incredibly better than I had before the surgery, and I think it had a lot to do with how I was eating.”

Although there is no conclusive data that links healthy eating to breast cancer recovery, Ireland credits her holistic approach for her body’s ability to endure her aggressive conventional treatment regimen .  “I was very strict about my diet throughout my chemo, and I remember my doctor telling me that he would put my body’s tolerance of all these hardcore drugs in the top 10% of people who go through chemo,” says Ireland.  “I wouldn’t say that I was whistling a happy tune every day, but overall I was able to live my life and I completely attribute that to the diet and supplements.”

Leasa Ireland Breast Cancer WalkIreland points out that there are emotional benefits to eating healthy during treatment, as well.  “Any doctor will tell you, your mental state and staying positive plays almost as much a role in recovery as the medicine does, she says.  “Changing my diet gave me control over the situation and made me feel like I was actively participating in my recovery versus taking all this medication that somebody else is telling me to take.”

Even though it’s been good news since her last Herceptin treatment in October 2012, Ireland will have ongoing treatment for up to ten years and has decided to make her new diet a way of life.  “Gluten-, dairy-, and sugar-free sounds daunting,” she admits.  “I am not so rigid that I exclude everything from my diet because I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out.  But it’s important, with breast cancer especially, to take care of yourself;  you don’t want to consume too much food that will have a negative effect on your body.”

“The good news about breast cancer is there are amazing treatments out there, and most women are surviving it to live long, healthy lives,” says Ireland.  “You just have to get through the treatment and that’s where diet can play an important part.”

Leasa Ireland lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband John and 11-year-old son, Jack. She spends her days running a boutique PR firm specializing in technology and consumer products, volunteering at local schools and trying to play tennis and fit in a yoga or Pilates class. Her breast cancer is in remission and she’s in near constant pursuit of the perfect kale salad.

Keep It Seasonal: Avocados

Heart-healthy avocados have a far-reaching range of health benefits.

Heart-healthy avocados have a far-reaching range of health benefits.

Avocados are fruits from the Persea americana evergreen tree.  The flesh beneath its hard shell is smooth and buttery, not to mention ultra-healthy.  Not only is the avocado packed with a variety carotenoids itself, but its high monounsaturated fat content (aka the good, heart-healthy fat) also increase the absorption rate of carotenoids from other vegetables into the blood stream.  In addition, avocados are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C, K, folate and B6.  Avocado are peeled and pitted and eaten raw.  They are great on salads and sandwiches.

Photo courtesy of Persea americana at Biopix.

Keep It Seasonal: Sunchokes

Sunchokes

Diabetics should substitute blood-stabilizing sunchokes for potatos.

Sunchokes, also called Jerusalem artichokes, are root vegetables similar to potatoes in texture and ginger roots in appearance, with a flavor that’s nutty, yet sweet.  They are a great source of the inulin, a unique starch that stabilizes blood sugar levels while stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria in your stomach and colon.  Sunchokes are also high in fiber, potassium, magnesium, and iron.  Like potatoes they can be steamed, boiled, grilled, or roasted.  They can also be eaten in the raw on salads or even juiced.

Photo courtesy of What’s So Great About Sunchokes? from Eat Local Northwest.

From the Editor: We’re All In This Together

Dustin NewcombeI started working with Derin Oyekan on 1Aisle back in March when it was a far different concept.  The evolution of 1Aisle is a testament to Derin’s openness and his desire to create something bigger than himself.  I’m honored to be working with him to make healthy eating easy, accessible, and fun.

My personal relationship with food has always been contentious at best.  I guess you could say my problems began with my grandmother.  I did work for her – cleaned gutters, shoveled snow, raked leaves, and mowed lawns, etc. – and she rewarded me with as much food as I could eat.  Later, food provided instant comfort through some trying years in high school, that is before I quit eating altogether and lost 50 pounds in three months.

Since high school, my weight has fluctuated greatly as I’ve struggled to improve my love-hate relationship with food.   My work with 1Aisle is more than just a motivation to get healthy;   it’s an obligation, a commitment, a source for integrity.  While my journey is still in its early stages, the confidence that comes from community involvement is already a clear game changer.  When it comes to food, we all have different goals, different tastes, different skills, and different philosophies.  Despite our differences, we’re all 1Aislers and we’re all in this together.

This week is a particularly exciting one for 1Aisle.  In addition to recipes and tips spotlighting sunchokes and avocados, we’re featuring a breast cancer survivor for whom healthy eating has played an important role in recovery, newlyweds who have managed to successfully reconcile their very different healthy-eating philosophies, and our resident supermom who offers a healthy alternative for rushed Halloween dinners,  Plus, there’s a sneak preview of the 1Aisle mobile application.

If you’re interested in sharing your own healthy-eating story, please e-mail me at dustin@1aisle.com.  I am thrilled to share this exciting journey with you!

Happy, healthy eating,

Dustin Newcombe
1Aisle Editor

Chef Jason’s Coconut Curry Mahi-Mahi

Mahi Coconut Curry retouchedIngredients:

12 ounces Mahi Filet cut into cubes
1 Cup Chili Powder
1/2 Cup Tumeric
1/2 Cup Curry Powder
1 Teaspoon Paprika
4 Jalapenos cut into Rings
1 Clove of Garlic Minced
1 Red Onion Julienned
1 Cup Mint Leaves Chopped
2 Whole Tomatoes Quartered or 10 Cherry Tomatoes
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 8oz Can of Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Olive Oil

 
Preparation:
 
Mix chili powder, tumeric, paprika and curry powder in a mixing bowl.
Mix Mahi Cubes into dry mix and let sit.
Heat up oil in a large saute pan. Saute Onions until opaque and add jalapenos. Add Salt & Pepper.
Add Mahi to the saute pan and saute until brown. Add Garlic, and saute until garlic aroma is strong.
Add more Salt & Pepper to taste. Add Tomatoes to the pan and saute until the tomatoes are soft.
Add Coconut Milk, and Mint Leaves. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
 
Serve on Rice or with Naan Bread.

Mahi-Mahi: Sweet and Sustainable

Grilled-Mahi-Mahi-Mango-Salsa-with-Rice-and-Peas-and-PlantainsThis week’s fish Friday feature, mahi-mahi, is a sweet, lean, mild-flavored fish that reaches adulthood within 4-5 months and reproduces quickly and often.

1Aisle Executive Chef Jason Francisco recommends grilling mahi-mahi and serving it with a citrusy compote.  “Mahi-mahi is very lean so it cooks fast,”  says Francisco.  “You just season it and grill it.  They stay together really well on the grill.  Plus, it’s a very low-calorie source of protein with moderate amounts of mercury (.19 parts per million) far below the FDA’s recommended limit for human consumption.”

Food and Water Watch recommends looking for US-caught mahi-mahi, particularly hook-and-line caught varieties.  The organization further points out that the thousands of eggs released into the ocean during the mahi-mahi’s months-long spawning season keeps its populations thriving indefinitely, despite its popularity in the US.

Photo courtesy of Grilling in South Florida – Grilled Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa by The Hungry Goddess.