Friday, July 29, 2011

Our Mural is Coming Along Thanks to the Kids from Parker Autism!

The children from Parker Autism's Camp Dakota were here yesterday morning helping paint the mural! Everyone had a great time and the flowers on the mural are beautiful! Thanks kids! We also had visitors from WCNC, News 14 Carolinas and the Charlotte Observer! We plan to have other children from our community come out and paint also. Please visit for more information! To view the progress so far and all of the pictures from this event, please visit our South End Facebook page!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Meatless Monday: Spicy Gumbo with Greens


2 pounds collard greens, stems removed and chopped
2 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil + 2 tbsp
1/4 cup flour
2 onions, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 or 4 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup hot sauce
1 tsp file powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups chopped okra
1 16 ounce can kidney beans
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups rice, pre-cooked


1. In a large soup pot, boil the greens in two cups water for about ten minutes. Cover and allow to steam for 5 to 10 more minutes. Reserve the cooking water.
2. In a separate small pot, whisk together the 1/4 cup oil and flour over low heat to form a roux, stirring continuously for about 10 to 15 minutes. Once it turns a dark reddish brown, remove from the heat and set aside.
3. In a large soup or stock pot, sautee the onions, bell pepper, celery and tomatoes for a few minutes in the 2 tablespoons of oil, until just soft. Reduce the heat and add the hot sauce, file powder, cayenne, thyme, oregano, parsley and garlic and cook, stirring for one or two more minutes.
4. Add the four and oil roux and the vegetable broth and stir well to combine. Add the cooking water from the collard greens and the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, and allow to cook for 15 minutes.
5. Add the collard greens, okra, kidney beans, and rice and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

2nd Annual Helping Families with Autism Day, This Saturday at South End

Autism is affecting more and more children in America every year. At Healthy Home Market, we are committed to helping families and their children who have been affected. Please join us, in conjunction with the Parker Autism Foundation, for a day of free education on various topics pertaining to Autism. We will have experts, attorneys, physicians and financial planners, plus lots of gluten-free food samples and a Pirates of the Caribbean bounce house and games for the kids! The lecture schedule is as follows:

11:00 am - Introduction with HHM and Parker Autism
11:30am-12:00pm - Nancy Popkin of the Autism Society of NC
12:15pm-12:45pm - Dr. Christy Coury, Mitochondrial Specialist
Break for Lunch
1:45pm-2:15pm - Jason Fowler, Microscopist
2:30pm-3:00pm - Mitzi Kincaid and Ryan Platt, Special Needs Attorneys

For more information on treating Autism naturally and our relationship with Parker Autism Foundation please click here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meatless Monday: Vegan Lettuce Wraps


Vegan Lettuce Wraps
8 shiitake mushrooms
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp dry sherry
2 tsp water
2 tsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper
2 cups vegetarian crumbles, thawed
5 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, minced
2 small dried chilies, (optional)
8 oz can bamboo shoots, minced
8 oz can water chestnuts, minced
2 cups spinach, chopped
1/2 package thin rice noodles, prepared according to package
1 head lettuce, pulled apart into leaves

Lettuce Wrap Sauce
1 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dry sherry
2 tbsp water
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch


1. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside. Combine cornstarch, sherry, water, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Add in soy crumbles. Add 1 tsp of vegetable oil and allow it to marinate for 15 minutes.
2. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add 3 tbsp vegetable oil and vegetarian crumbles and stir fry for 3 minutes and set aside.
3. Add 2 tbsp vegetable oil to pan. Add in ginger, garlic, onion, and chilies; stir fry about a minute or so. Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and spinach; stir fry an additional 2 minutes. Return vegetarian crumbles to pan. Add mixed cooking sauce to pan. Cook until thickened and heated through.
4. Chop cooked cellophane noodles into small pieces, and cover the bottom of serving dish with them. Then pour soy mixture on top of noodles. Spoon into lettuce leaf and dig in.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

South End is Getting All Dressed Up!

We are excited to announce that work has begun on a beautiful mural located at our South End location. The mural will be on the left side of the building facing downtown...or is it uptown? The artist, Frank Haas, is an accomplished mural and sign painter. And in addition to Frank's work, we have invited local children from the Parker Autism Foundation Summer Camp to also contribute to our mural project! The children will be here on July 28, helping to paint flowers and animals! Stay tuned...we will continue to update the project progress and will soon have a website solely for that purpose! Here is what Frank has accomplished so far (and in 100° weather no less!):

Monday, July 11, 2011

Meatless Monday: Veggie Napoleons w/ Chive Oil


For Stack
1 eggplant, sliced into ¼-inch slices
1 large red and 1 large yellow pepper, each cored and divided into four flat pieces
1 tomato, sliced into four ¼-inch slices
½ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups of your favorite cheese—goat, ricotta or mozzarella work well or Vegan substitute
4 rosemary skewers and 4 wood picks for garnish, approximately 5 inches each

For Chive Oil
1 bunch chives
1½ cups olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 400º. Brush all sliced vegetables with a generous amount of olive oil on both sides; sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Place on cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick oil or rubbed with some additional olive oil. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, checking frequently, until vegetables are soft and cooked but still hold their shape well. Remove vegetables from the cookie sheet and let cool on a separate plate.
2. When cool, layer vegetables and then cheese, starting with eggplant and ending with the tomato on top. Skewer with wood picks and reheat at time of serving in 375º oven for about 5 minutes until just warm. Remove wood picks, insert rosemary skewers and drizzle with chive oil.
3. Place chives in blender, drizzle in olive oil and blend until emulsified and chives are fully incorporated and oil is bright green and smooth. Add salt and blend again—taste and adjust seasoning. Chive oil will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Use leftovers as a salad dressing, or drizzle over cooked vegetables, etc.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

DIY: Watermelon Fruit Basket

Tis the season for watermelon...and parties! What better summer treat than a watermelon fruit basket? These make great additions to parties, cookouts, picnics, showers and even outdoor weddings. Everyone will be very impressed with your handiwork! Best of all, we currently have large local watermelons on sale for only $3.99, plus local cantaloupes for only $2.99!

1. Buy a watermelon, its size depending on the number of people to be fed. Purchase an assortment of fruits, such as cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries and other berries, kiwi, citrus fruit, grapes, cherries, mango, peaches, starfruit, pineapple, bananas, etc. For garnish, lemons, limes, oranges, fresh mint, edible flowers, toothpicks, etc.
2. To begin, take a sharp knife and slice a small thin piece off the bottom of your melon. This will allow the finished basket to sit flat on a plate or table without rolling.
3. Next, take the tip of your knife or garnishing tool and score the watermelon in half, horizontally. Then mark a strip of about 1 1/2 - 2 inches wide that will form the handle of your basket. If you have trouble seeing the score lines, you may try using a pen to make your lines. Next, take your garnishing tool and start cutting around the melon on the lines. The garnishing tool naturally makes V shaped cuts, which makes doing a basket like this a breeze. If you do not have a garnishing tool, use a small knife and make the V cuts one side at a time. You could also forget the V and make straight cuts. To make separating the melon easier, and the finished product neater, turn your garnishing tool over, and go over the cuts in the opposite direction.
4. Carefully separate the cut sides from the body of the watermelon. If you used a marking pen and there are any residual marks left, a handy way to get rid of them is to use a new emory board and gently sand them off. Take a melon baller and hollow out the inside of the watermelon. After removing all the edible parts, take a large spoon and gently scrape out the sides of your "basket". Be care not to scrape too thinly on the handle, as you want it to have some stability, even though you will never try to carry it this way! Mix the watermelon balls (or pieces, if you don't have a melon baller) with other ripe fresh fruits.
5. Decorate the handle with garnish, such as thinly slice lemons, limes or oranges and use a toothpick to affix them, along with a grape, melon ball or cherry, to the watermelon. Also, attach some fresh mint spring or edible flowers with toothpicks! Tip: Use cookie cutters to cut soft fruits into various shapes.

Adapted from: Tip from a Fabulous Foods reader: "I just read your instructions for making a watermelon basket filled with fruit. I've made watermelon baskets and one of the problems I've encountered is liquid from the fruits collecting in the bottom of the "basket" which makes the fruit soggy. I corrected this problem with the last basket I made by putting "drainage" holes in the bottom of the watermelon after hollowing it out and before filling with the fruit. I then put the basket in a large oval roasting pan filled with ice cubes (to keep the fruit cold), and the water from the fruit drained into the pan along with the melting ice. This kept the fruit in the basket from getting soggy. Thought you might be able to use this idea."

Friday, July 1, 2011

Throw a Green BBQ this 4th of July!

For most Americans, the 4th of July brings to mind grilling out with friends and family, cold beer and fireworks. Here at Healthy Home Market, we support these traditions and would like to share some ideas for making your 4th celebrations healthier for you and for the environment.

Tips for the Grill:

Choose Healthy Meats The best meats are grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and wild-caught or organically farmed seafood. Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon is a good lean choice, which is high in Omega-3's (it just so happens to be on sale this month.) Lean meats are best as Heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), both know carcinogens, are primarily formed when fats are heated to high temperatures or fall into the flames and create smoke.

Practice Grill Safety

First off, always make sure your grill is clean before beginning. Not only will your food taste better, but this will lessen the amount of char that you consume. The charred parts of food can cause free radical formation in your body and since free radicals are linked with premature aging, disease, and tissue damage, it's best to reduce your exposure as much as possible. When grilling, use low to medium cooking temperatures. As stated above, cooking meats at high temperatures is dangerous. This will also help prevent char from forming because of flare-ups.

Marinate and season using a combination of olive oil, lemon juice and garlic has been shown to reduce the formation of cancer-causing agents by up to 99%! Marinating food in red wine or beer for six hours has also been shown to substantially reduce the formation of HCA's. In addition, Scientists at the Food Safety Consortium project at Kansas State University have discovered that basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage will do the same. Use any of these methods or a combination of several for a healthier grilling experience.

Don't Forget the Veggies (or Fruit). Vegetables and fruit are delicious on the grill! Plus, they add lots of flavor, fiber and nutrients. Our favorites include pineapple, portabello mushrooms, asparagus, eggplant and peppers of all kinds. Another favorite is roasting garlic right on the grill with the skin on; the result is a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth treat that can be eaten as is, spread on bread or used in a sauce.

Drinking Eco-Responsibly

For those of you who don't know, we have an exceptional beer selection here at Healthy Home Market. Here is a list of several of our popular eco-friendly choices:

Sierra Nevada - they power almost their entire brewery with 10,000 solar panels and 4 co-generation fuel cells

New Belgium - these guys were the first brewery to utilize wind-power and they have created Team Wonderbike, comprised of consumers who have pledged to ride bikes instead of drive whenever possible, the team is currently 10,000 strong

Brooklyn Brewery - Wind turbines generate all of the electricity for both their headquarters and brewery, making them the first company in NYC to be powered entirely by wind power

Great Lakes Brewing Company - this company practices "closed loop" recycling, meaning everything that would be considered waste is put to use somewhere else in the factory. Their packaging is 100% recyclable and they also run their distribution trucks on vegetable oil

Please be sure to also check out our great selection of local craft beers: Mother Earth Brewing Co., Kind Beer, Highland Brewing Co., The Duck-Rabbit, Thomas Creek, Carolina Beer Co., Big Boss, Catawba Valley, Olde Mecklenburg and Craggie Brewing Co. The latter three are all available in growlers which are returned to be reused by the companies. Buying local reduces our carbon footprint and supports our local economy!

Coming Soon: Eco-friendly Fireworks

Scientist are busy at work perfecting fireworks which do not contain toxic metals and which will create less smoke. A Japanese firm has also formulated a biodegradable firework shell and Disney is already using compressed air rather than gunpowder to launch their fireworks. It may be a bit before we see these eco-friendly fireworks on the shelf due to the increased production cost, but it's good to know that they are on their way.
And one final tip, protect your skin this 4th of July by utilizing natural sun screens and natural insect repellent. If you don't have any on-hand, come see us, we have plenty to choose from. Happy 4th from Healthy Home Market! Enjoy and be safe!