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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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February 18, 2021

One of the Healthiest Fruits on the Planet

We are on week #33, counting down with my expectant friend. As some of you know from experience, she is getting pretty uncomfortable. My prayer for he

February 11, 2021

Fun with Jicama

At week #32, baby is a jicama in size. That’s right, a jicama. Starts with a J and sounds like an H. Jicama is a globe-shaped root vegetable with pa

February 4, 2021

Sumo, Coconut, and the Birth Month

If you’re an orange lover, I have some REALLY GOOD NEWS! The Sumo are here. Sumo oranges, that is. I wrote about them last year. If you missed that

January 28, 2021

5 Reasons Why Your Snack Bar May Not Be Your Friend

In a recent conversation, the topic of cereal/granola/protein bars came up. They appear to be a healthy snack, especially for a very busy person who i

January 21, 2021

Getting Back on Track

Baby size at 29 weeks is a butternut squash. And, like last week’s eggplant, butternut squash is technically a fruit. Since I wouldn’t care to eat

January 14, 2021

The Surprising Truth about Eggplant, and a Recipe

A large eggplant. That is the vegetable size of a baby at week #28. Oh, but wait just a minute. An eggplant is actually a FRUIT because it grows from

January 7, 2021

My Least Favorite Vegetable and a Challenge

At week #27 baby is the size of… …a head of cauliflower. Most of you know that I do not care for this vegetable. I’ve tried. Truth is that cauli

December 31, 2020

Cheers to Scallions and a New Year

At week #26, baby is the size of a scallion. The first question that popped into my head is: What’s the difference between a scallion and a green on

December 24, 2020

The Hope and Excitement of a Baby

A bit of background for my new readers: I’m taking the produce journey along with my good friend who is expecting. As we track the progression, we l

Chicken Salad & Creamy Avocado Dressing

Chicken Salad

  • Chicken breast meat from a rotisserie chicken (skin removed) cut into small pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 apple, gala or other sweet variety, chopped
  • 2 handfuls of seedless (red) grapes, halved
  • Chopped raw pecans

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Add dressing and stir to coat well. Serve on a bed of greens or in a lettuce wrap.Chicken Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Other ideas:

  • Use canned chicken or chicken leftovers from another meal
  • Canned tuna may be substituted for chicken
  • Omit the apples and grapes and add onions
  • Add whatever you would like and see what happens-dried cranberries, cherries, almonds, walnuts

Creamy Avocado Dressing

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Combine ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add to chicken or tuna salad. If dressing is not creamy enough, add a bit more olive oil to make it the right consistency.

This dressing is versatile and could be used on greens or as a vegetable dip.

Southwestern Chopped Salad

 

  • Large head of Romaine 15 oz.
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large orange bell pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen, thawed)
  • 5 green onions

Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Toss with desired dressing.

Dressing

  • 1 bunch of cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 avocado (or 1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt or Greek yogurt)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

 

Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Strawberry Mousse Parfait1 can full-fat coconut milk (Thai Kitchen is my favorite)
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
Stevia or honey to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or some other flavor, peppermint perhaps?)
Optional:  shredded coconut, almond butter, cinnamon

Chill the unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Scoop out the solidified cream into a mixing bowl and beat vigorously with a whisk or electric mixer until softened (it shouldn’t liquefy). Add the cocoa powder, stevia or honey, and vanilla. Continue to beat until light and fluffy. You may top the mousse with coconut, almond butter or cinnamon.

Leftovers keep well in the fridge and the concoction becomes a bit thicker and fluffier. This is great a dip for strawberries, bananas, apples.

 

April’s Healthy Lifestyle Habit

I think you’ll like this month’s habit because it is REALLY EASY! In fact many of you may be doing this already, but if you aren’t, time to give it a whirl.

When you cook, make extra so you have leftovers for another meal. This is especially handy when you grill because there are no dirty dishes! Ideas: grill extra chicken to make chicken salad or add to greens; extra abstract-1239143_640steak may be sliced thin and made into a stir fry with lots of vegetables or used in fajitas; bratwurst or any type of sausage may be sliced and added to pasta with sauce or vegetables.

Soups, chili, roasts, and just about everything, will be delicious the next day for lunch or dinner. The one exception that comes to mind is fish, which is not my favorite when the next day. Salmon, the exception, is good when added to greens, but only warm it slightly so it doesn’t dry out.

Ok, I hear some of you whining that you don’t like leftovers. I understand this can be a problem when there is SO much left that you are eating it for days. There is rebellion in my home when we are still eating the same soup for 3 days. If you don’t like to eat something two days in a row, skip a day, then have it for lunch. This is a much better option than fast food or no food.
chicken-825232_640

If you get carried away and have too many leftovers, freeze them. You could also give them away to a friend or neighbor.

This is such a super habit because the biggest obstacle standing in the way between families and a good meal is planning ahead. When you decide to cook a meal, capitalize on the time it took to plan, shop and prepare it. Make this process work for you!

We grilled chicken thighs and bratwurst and ate about half. (It is hardly worth heating up the charcoal grill for four pieces of chicken or bratwurst.) Whether lunch or dinner, we are set for another meal or two, and that makes me very happy.

Oh, and if you have a “leftover” whiner, I’m sure that person would be delighted to take a turn and make dinner.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin

P.S. If you’re looking to lighten up for spring, shape up for summer, and have more energy to play outdoors, contact me today.  We can do this together!