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5 minute Faves Archives | Elizabeth Borelli

Pumpkin Chia Breakfast Pudding

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

This uber-healthy and sinfully delicious breakfast pudding is protein and fiber-packed enough to keep you going all morning long.  If you’re new to the wonders of chia, these tiny seeds are extraordinarily high in both of these key nutrients.  And just 2 oz. of chia seeks pack more than 8 times the omega 3 content than an ounce of salmon.

Another unique chia characteristic is the gelatinous coating they developed when soaked in liquid.  Thus the pudding connection which offers endless options for a yummy breakfast, portable lunch or even a healthy dessert.  Soak your chia seeds in water, plant or dairy milk overnight for best results!

Pumpkin Chia Breakfast Pudding

Makes 3 generous cups (3 servings)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup strong ginger tea
  • 1 cup rice or your favorite plant-based milk
  • 6 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 6 dried, pitted dates
  • 1 cup fresh cooked or (BPA-free) canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • Dash salt

Combine tea (warm or cold), milk, chia seeds and dates in a glass jar or bowl, cover and let stand for at least an hour, or, preferably refrigerated overnight before using.

When you’re ready to prepare your pudding, add the chia mixture and the remaining ingredients to a Vitamix or blender and blend until just combined or super-smooth, depending on your preference.

Enjoy!

Easy Lunch Kabobs

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

Many among our older generation are surprised to see today’s parent frantically whip up an entirely different meal for their kids than they’re eating.  The kids’ food category is after all a relatively new construct, and although it creates exciting marketing opportunities for food companies, it isn’t such a win for kids and parents.

Most “kid foods” contain more sugar, fat and sodium than the adult versions, tastes which shape their food preferences into what can become a vicious cycle as time goes on.  Taste buds become so saturated that healthy, whole foods with their more subtle flavors have a hard time delivering enough sensation to satiate.

I agree, it’s hard to get children to eat kale and quinoa when they really just want a Happy Meal, but fortunately for all of us, there are happy mediums too.  When time and patience are at a premium, it helps to have some tricks up your sleeve to keep the Mac ‘n Cheeze at bay.   Mama Bears Tips for Healthy Eaters is here to help, or check out this fun and easy Kabob suggestion, because as the photo-shoot props and my nine-year old reminded me, kids are infinitely more likely to enjoy food that comes on a stick, even tofu.

Kabobs are a great way to pack a healthy, kid-friendly lunch using last night’s leftovers or fruits and veggies straight from the fridge.  Share the menu below with your kids and let them check off their choices so they can be sure to add them to your grocery cart or market tote, and create their own lunchtime masterpieces.

Easy Lunch Kabobs                                                                                                                                       Choose your favorites:

  • Bell pepper
  • Cheese
  • Grapes
  • Steamed cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Rolled lunch meat
  • Smoked tofu
  • Melon
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cubed whole grain bread
  • Chicken or turkey cubes
  • Steamed potatoes
  • Celery squares
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Pineapple chunks

Bamboo skewers are easy to find at your local market or retail store, but often too long to pack in a lunchbox.  Use kitchen scissors to snip them into two pieces, then skewer your favorite combination, leaving just enough of the stick free for easy pick-up.  Pack or wrap in a BPA-free reusable container for an easy lunchtime treat.

Hibiscus Sun Tea

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

The lovely crimson hibiscus plant makes a wonderfully tart and delicious tea.  The health benefits of this vibrant plant have been celebrated for centuries in cultures all around the world.

With studies linking the acids contained in hibiscus to lower blood pressure, this healing plant also contains phytochemicals like quercetin, shown to reduce inflammation and support kidney health, and antioxidants known to reduce the effects of aging*.

This simple Hibiscus Sun Tea is perfect for overnight steeping, no heat required.  It’s a beautiful thing to wake up to, with lots to spare for all day enjoyment.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of water
  • 1/3 cup hibiscus tea leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1-3 tablespoons of stevia (to taste)

For stovetop or microwave:  heat water until it reaches the point of simmering.  Remove from the heat and using your tea strainer, steep the tea for about 20 minutes while it cools.  Remove tea bags and continue cooling until it reaches room temperature.

Overnight or sun tea method:  Pour the water into a mason jar or pitcher, depending on what type of strainer you’re using.  One that fits inside the mouth of the mason jar is perfect for this, see below.

For either method:  add remaining ingredients and serve iced or hot. May be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. *While hibiscus tea is completely safe for most people, if you’re currently using prescription medications, be sure to check with your doctor before enjoying too much of this potent tea.

Sensational Summer Chickpea Salad

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

This salad is a snap to make and especially delicious with freshly cooked garbanzo beans, but canned (BPA-Free) work as well.  The fresh corn adds a hint of summer sweetness, a nice balance to the tang of your favorite salsa.  I love it for sharing at picnics and potlucks, since you get lots of flavor, fiber and protein for your buck.  Serve as a side dish or over a bed of mixed greens or shredded kale for a simple, satisfying lunch.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 cups cooked garbanzo beans
  • 2-3 large celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 4-6 green onions, thinly sliced (I use the whole thing, green and white)
  • 1 ear of fresh corn, (steamed,  kernels removed, cob discarded) or 1 cup frozen corn (organic or GMO-free)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh salsa (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

To prepare beans from scratch, soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.  Drain and rinse beans, then add to a large stockpot and fill with water to cover the beans by at least 6 inches.   Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 1½ to 2½ hours, until tender.

Drain and rinse your garbanzos, whether they’re cooked or canned, then add to a large salad bowl.  Add remaining ingredients, stir to thoroughly combined and serve at room temperature.

Note:  Sensational Summer Chickpea Salad is even better when it’s prepared an hour or so ahead, or better still the day prior, to really let the flavors meld.

Overnight Oatmeal

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

1-Sprout Kit 033This amazingly easy overnight oatmeal recipe takes the cooking time out of steel-cut oats on a busy morning.  You’ll love the less mushy texture too, almost like oatmeal is supposed to be made.   This breakfast is a truly a win-win, since oat fiber has been shown to help regulate cholesterol,  maintain steady blood sugar levels and keep hunger pangs as bay. Studies show that just 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day (as in one bowl of oatmeal) typically lowers cholesterol levels by 8-23%. Pretty impressive!

Oats also contain healthy antioxidants and plenty of other nutrients which I could go on and on about.  But in all honesty, my kids just eat them because they’re flavorful and satisfying, especially when combined with berries, nuts and cinnamon.  Yum!

Use this fun preparation technique to make 3-4 servings of instant oatmeal, no cooking required.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups steel-cut oats, or any combination of spelt, triticale, rye, or barley flakes
  • 2 ½  cups rice or almond milk (carrageenan free)
  • 1 fresh or frozen berries
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup, or 1 teaspoon stevia (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

The night before you plan to enjoy your oats, place all ingredients except for the nuts in a glass bowl or jar and and stir or lightly shake to combine.  Store in the refrigerator and serve cold or briefly heated in a saucepan the next morning, sprinkled with nuts.  No cooking required!

Snappy Veggie Stir-fry

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

 4 to 6 servings

On those days when you’re caught without a plan (we all have them!) and the pressure’s on to whip something up in a hurry, here is an easy, throw-together idea for a delicious, nutritious, one-dish meal.  

More of a cooking method than a formal recipe, this dish invites you to use whatever you have on hand.  Add a sauce (pre-made if possible), some tofu, and a grain (brown rice, quinoa, whole grain pasta…) and you’ve got all your bases deliciously covered.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 2 to 3 cups of any of the following, coarsely chopped:  carrots (peel on or off), cabbage, celery, onion (peeled), broccoli florets, cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes (optional)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts or sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup of any of the following sauces:  Vegan Curry, Ginger Peanut, Cilantro Mint, or Basil Pesto

    Snappy Veggie Stir Fry

    Snappy Veggie Stir Fry

Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat, add chopped vegetables and tofu, and stir-fry for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender.  If mixture becomes dry, add a tablespoon of water as needed to prevent burning.  Add mushrooms or sprouts if using, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.  Mix in salt and sauce and stir to coat.  Remove from heat and serve.

Chia Berry Breakfast Pudding

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

If you haven’t tried chia (the seeds not the pet), you’re in for a treat.  These tiny seeds contain more omega 3s than salmon, more antioxidants than blueberries, plus ample calcium, fiber and protein (4 grams in just 2 tbsps).  Relatively low in calories for all of the amazing nutrients they deliver, chia seeds are an excellent addition to baked goods also for the nutty flavor they impart.

But the real fun of chia seeds comes in the soaking.   Placed in liquid, they’ll absorb up to 12 times their weight and thicken to resemble a tapioca pudding texture, the mild flavor of which pairs perfectly with fruit.   Soak them overnight in a jar and store in the fridge so they’re ready to use when you need them.

Chia pudding is a quick and nourishing choice for breakfast, and a fave with the younger set who will see and taste pudding, so no complaints there.  I blend mine smooth using frozen fruit, banana and avocado for the creamy texture and good monounsaturated fats that round off this brain food powerhouse.  What better way to begin a day?2013-11-05 08.36.47

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 1/4  cup of water
  • 1 whole orange
  • 4 tbsps. of chia seeds
  • 3 cups frozen  blueberries
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • ¼ tsp. stevia or 1 tablespoon honey (or similar sweetener)
  • ¼ cup mango (optional
  • ½ banana (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened flaked coconut (optional)

Soak chia seeds in water the night before, or at least 10-15 minutes prior to blending.  Add all ingredients to your blender or vitamix and blend until smooth.  Pudding will continue to thicken after it’s blended.  Serve plain or topped with coconut.

 

Miso Goddess Sauce

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

033Makes 1 cup

This quick and easy dressing also makes a delicious sauce for quinoa, pasta or your favorite stir fry. Truly a five minute wonder, it lends a sassy Asian-inspired twist to your meal.

Ingredients

• ¼ cup yellow miso
• ¼ cup tahini
• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• ½ cup orange juice (fresh is amazing, but pre-made 100% juice works too)
• 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
• ¼ – ½ tsp. salt (optional)

Blend the first 2 ingredients in your measuring cup with a fork or small whisk until smooth. Stir the remaining ingredients directly into the cup, and pour into a clean glass bottle to serve.

Christmas and Sprouting 138

About the ingredients

Tahini, miso and rice vinegar may not be things currently in your cabinet, and you may wonder if it’s worth it to buy them when you’re not sure you’ll ever use them again. So I thought I’d talk a bit about each and why I think it’s worth the investment!

All three ingredients combine health benefits with the rich flavor they bring to everything from dressings to bean dishes. They’re  versatile ingredients with staying power (as in long shelf life), so you don’t need to worry about using them right away.

Tahini, to start,  is packed with 7 grams of protein per serving, makes wonderful sauces and dressings, and lasts as long as peanut or almond butter (refrigerated). Miso is a naturally fermented seasoning high in B12 and acidophilus, a healthy gut bacteria, Use it to flavor soups, stir fries and sauces. Rice vinegar is high in amino acids, lovely on salads and in marinades.

As for the cost, I did the math so you don’t have to. It came to less than $3 to make 2 cups of Miso Goddess dressing, or about half of what you’d pay for an equivalent product in the store. So I say splurge on some new ingredients you know will help you transition from package to pantry, and enjoy the health and cost saving benefits long term.

Blueberry Superfood Smoothie

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

Luscious, creamy, and delicious it’s hard to believe something that tastes this decadent is also a potent beauty and energy booster. This blueberry superfood smoothie is both low in sugar and bursting with antioxidants, a perfect anti-aging combination. If you don’t have access to sunflower sprouts, substitute kale instead and be surprised at how such an unusual combination can taste so great.

I like to make a double batch to enjoy again the next day (or freeze it for up to one month.) Believe it or not, this drink is kid-friendly since the blueberries mask the greens quite nicely.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sunflower sprouts
  • 14 large  avocado
  • ¼ tsp. stevia
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds, whole or groung

Place all ingredients in your blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Enjoy!


Fruity Morning Smoothie

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

JuiceServes 2

Beginning the day with a yummy and super-nutritious  smoothie boosts energy, mood and brain function.  We don’t always know what happens once those kids are out the door, but if we can pack in some goodness to get them started, we’re on the right track!

The nice thing about this Smoothie is it disguises the foods kids might not be otherwise be into for breakfast.  I start with 2 good, blend-able fruits they love, like banana, mango, blueberry, raspberry or strawberry.  I add carrots and avocado to my daily version, which my kids like the flavors of better than the notion, but the extra nutrients are too good to skip.  Add some protein-rich flaxseed and a bit of sweetener, and you’ve got a super-blend your kids will love.

The trick to including the secret ingredients is to stay within the color family of the fruit you’re basing the drink on, and don’t add new or spicy flavors except possibly in small doses.  With a bit of experimenting with different fruit and even the occasional veggie combination, you’ll find what works for you.  Stevia is an excellent sweetener to use since the intense fruit flavors hide the aftertaste it can sometimes have, and this all-natural, low-glycemic alternative enables you to keep extra sugar out of the morning meal.

Ingredients:

  • Choose 2 fruits (2 cups total): banana, fresh or frozen mango, pineapple, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries are favorites
  • Choose 1 liquid (1 cup total): rice milk, almond, soy milk, dairy milk
  • Sweetener: ½- 1 tsp. stevia
  • Protein Booster: 2 tbsp. flax seeds
  • Options (1/2 cup total): carrot (peel on), beet (peel on), cucumber (peel off), romaine lettuce, buckwheat or sunflower sprouts, avocado

Add all ingredients to a blender, food processor or Vitamix and puree until smooth.

Quick trick: premake “smoothie packs” by pre measuring and packing your solid ingredients together, placed in the freezer until ready to use.  Note:   cucumber, lettuce and sprouts don’t freeze well, so if using, add fresh before blending. 



Quickie Quesadilla

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

1-2 servings

Remember way back in the day before the microwave when the go-to appliance was the toaster oven?  While you don’t need a toaster oven per se, this recipe is definitely inspired by it.  Just use your oven or even a large, covered sauté pan to briefly heat your creation, and voila!  Quickie Quesadilla, just like that.  It’s so easy, you might encourage your kids to put together this tasty sandwich-alternative high-protein lunch or snack.

Ingredients:

  • Whole grain or brown rice tortilla
  • ¼ cup shredded mild cheddar or Monterey jack cheese (plant-based or hormone-free dairy)
  • ½ avocado, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup black, pinto or kidney beans
  • Optional:  mild salsa for dipping

For oven cooking:  preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle beans across the top of the tortilla, then cover with cheese.  Place the quesa on a cookie sheet, then cook for five minutes until cheese is melted,.  Remove from heat, fold in the middle, slice up pie-style and serve.

For stovetop preparation: place a saucepan (with a cover) on the stovetop, heat to medium.  Sprinkle beans across the top of the tortilla, then cover with cheese.  Place the quesa in the saucepan, cover then cook for five minutes until cheese is melted.  Remove from heat, fold in the middle, slice up pie-style and serve.