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100 Healthy Food Rules to Govern Your Kitchen, part 3

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What to eat

Learn which foods and food groups to stick with in these rules.

Eat your greens: Greens and vegetables will help give you the health that you need.
Enjoy oily fish: Fish like salmon and mackerel are full of excellent omega-3 fatty acids.
Drink your milk: Give yourself the milk you need, and your kids two to three servings of dairy per day.
Eat wild foods: Berries, fish, and other food you can find in nature is often good for you. Just be sure to research and make sure what you’ve found is safe to eat.
Focus on whole grains: When eating breads and pastas, make sure what you’re eating is made of whole grains.
Eat in two food groups-things that move, and things that grow: If it’s not a plant or an animal, don’t eat it.
Eat food that doesn’t have an ingredient label: Fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods don’t often have ingredient labels.
Eat food your great grandmother would recognize: If your great grandmother would have no idea what it is you’re about to eat, skip it.

Naughty and Nice

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I have two recipes for you today. One is a healthy yummy summer salad and the other is a sinfully delicious chocolate dessert.

Asian Summer Salad
I had the blessed opportunity to bring dinner to a dear friend of mine and knew I wanted to make the Chicken Lettuce Wraps. But I didn't know what to make for a side dish. I asked around for advice, and decided on this noodle salad from The Pampered Chef. Prep time was very easy. Chopping up the veggies while boiling the pasta is the only thing that took time. Just make sure to give it enough time to marinate.

Salad:
8 oz. vermicelli pasta (an extra thin spaghetti - angel hair works well too)
3/4 cup julienne-cut carrots
3/4 cup julienne-cut zucchini
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup sliced green onions
3/4 pound deli roast turkey or chicken breast, cut 1/2 inch thick

Dressing:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 T rice vinegar
3 T soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 tsp finely chopped fresh gingerroot
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 cup chopped peanuts or cashews
chopped fresh cilantro

Cook and drain pasta according to directions and set aside. Meanwhile, cut, julienne, and chop vegetables and deli meat. Add to pasta. Combine dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Toss well. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour to allow flavors to blend. Garnish with chopped nuts and cilantro. Serve cold or warm.

Chocolate Pudding Dessert
Next up is a family favorite and very easy to make. It is often my "go-to" recipe of desserts. Simple, impressive, inexpensive, and delicious. I made it for Father's Day this year and had many people ask me about it on Facebook. So I decided to put it up here. I usually make it with chocolate pudding, but it's also great with lemon or butterscotch pudding. Pick one and tell me which flavor you used!

Crust:
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cubes butter
2/3 cup chopped nuts (I like to use pecans)

White Layer:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 container of cool whip (reserve other half for top layer)

Pudding Layer:
2 3 oz pkg of instant pudding (chocolate, lemon, or butterscotch)
3 cups milk

Combine crust ingredients and mix to form pie crust. Press into 9x13 pan. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely, and set aside. Beat together sugar and cream cheese until fluffy. Add the half cool whip. Spread over cooled crust. Make up pudding using 3 cups of milk. Spread pudding over the cream cheese layer. Spread remaining cool whip over the pudding layer. Sprinkle with additional chopped nuts, if desired. Chill several hours or overnight.

Easy Peasy Bean Taco's

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You know that one time (I'm sure it's only ever been once) where you had something magnificent planned for dinner and then at the last minute plans had to change. Maybe because you were out of a key ingredient, or maybe because you didn't get home from errands in time, or maybe because you were glued to the computer for much longer than needed and therefore ran out of time (that NEVER happens to me). Well, the next time you find yourself in that situation - the Easy Peasy Bean Taco's is your great non-recipe-recipe that will save your butt!

Easy Peasy Bean Taco's
- Flour or corn tortillas, smaller size
- Shredded cheese
- Can of refried beans
- Toppings you like on tacos…tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, etc.

Preheat your oven broiler. Heat up the can of beans in the microwave.

Place the tortillas on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle some cheese on half of the tortilla (you can also heat them up on the stove, whichever you prefer).

Keep a close eye on the cheese, making sure not to leave in too long that the tortillas will burn.

Remove the pan and shmear the beans over the cheese and add your other favorite toppings.

We really liked these tacos, and I loved how simple they were to make. But I’ve gotta say, I think a few grilled peppers and onions would give the tacos nice flavor and crunch…but yeah, that involves chopping stuff AND dirtying another pan. So don’t worry too much about it. These are Easy Peasy Bean Tacos, after all.


What is your "go-to" recipe when your original plans fail?

Deals to Meals

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Deals to Meals is the first food blog I started following (about a year ago). They have great recipe ideas and food storage tips. A unique feature at Deals to Meals is their price shopping feature. Members can log in and check which stores have the great deals of the week. They indicate what items are on sale and rate the sales. They will also help you plan a menu for the week based off of the sales. I have gotten several menu ideas from them - my favorite was the Sweet and Sour Meatballs.

I like to use their system because I can find the hot sale items and don't need to mess with coupons. It's great for planning my weekly menu and also for bulking up my food storage supply.

Deals to Meals is available for price checking in 13 states (pretty much the entire West - including TEXAS). For just $5 a month, you can become a member and start enjoying the benefits immediately!

Are you a current memeber of the Deals to Meals blog? If not, check them out! Tell them I sent you and you'll make my day!!! They are doing a GIVEAWAY for a new BOSCH MIXER and I'm really crossing my fingers on this one! Wish me luck and enjoy your new membership. I know I've enjoyed mine!

Three + One Bean Salad

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another one from The Deen Bros. "Ya'll Come Eat"

12 oz fresh green beans
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup bottled Italian salad dressing

Bring to boil a pot of water, blanch the green beans for 1 minute. Drain and cool. In large bowl, combine all ingredients.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

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from The Deen Bros. book "Ya'll Come Eat"

1 T salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (to taste)
pinch of celery seed
5 pound pork roast

Combine spices and rub the spice mixture all over the pork to coat evenly. Place pork in large resealable bag or a covered bowl and refridgerate overnight.

The Deen Bros. give directions on cooking in the stove, but I like it in a crock pot. Put on low setting for 8+ hours. One hour before serving, add bbq sauce of your choice. Serve on buns.

100 Healthy Food Rules to Govern Your Kitchen, part 2

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Shopping

These rules will help you when you’re out food shopping.

Shop for health: Remember that if you buy it, you’re going to end up eating it.

Stop off at a farmer’s market or fruit stand: Even if you don’t have specific purchases in mind, shopping in a healthy food environment can make you more focused on eating what you should.

Plan ahead: Go to the grocery store armed with a game plan to get the most healthy food for your money.

Shop the perimeter of your supermarket: Fresh food is on the outside, manufactured food tends to be toward the middle.

Make a realistic food budget: Get smart about the money you spend on food.

New Orleans Red Rice

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I hesitated posting this recipe, my husband advised against it since it wasn't on his top list of favorites. But the fact that the kids commented the next day how much they liked it made me think otherwise. If you find it bland like my husband did, experiment with different spices. I used ground turkey, but feel free to use ground beef or even ground sausage for a real kick.

1 T olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
2 celery ribs, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
2 tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the celery, onion, and bell pepper for about 2 minutes. When partially tender, add the meat and raise the heat to high. Continue cooking to brown the meat and finish cooking the vegetables until tender. Drain any fat from the meat in a colander and return mixture to pan. Add the broth, salt, water, tomatoes, rice, and Tabasco and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 40 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

100 Healthy Food Rules to Govern Your Kitchen

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Variety

Follow these rules to keep variety in your diet.

Eat your colors: In order to get as many different phytochemicals as possible, you’ll need to eat different colored vegetables and other foods.

Variety is the spice of life: Mix things up, and be sure to eat a lot of different foods so that you can get a variety of nutrients from your diet.

Eat from different cultures: Eat Mediterranean, Italian, Chinese, and more.

Three food rule: Every time you eat, have a single portion from three different food groups, one of them protein.

Try it, you’ll like it: Take a small taste to find out how you really feel about a food without lots of pressure.

Love herbs and spices: You can add flavor without sugar or salt by using herbs and spices.

~taken from 100 Healthy Food Rules website