Monday, May 28, 2012

Meatless Monday: Red, White & Blue Vegan Potato Salad

In honor of our troops, past and present, today's Meatless Monday recipe would be a nice addition to your Memorial Day feast.


1 lb small red potato
1 lb small white potatoes
1 lb small blue potato (or purple)
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 small red onion, julienned
4 small radishes, cleaned and sliced thinly
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or plain distilled white vinegar)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped (aka Italian parsley)
Flat leaf parsley, chopped


1. Boil potatoes until softened. Drain, cool and cut into 1/2" rounds.
2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients except for the oil.
3. Whisk in oil slowly (or use a food processor).
4. Combine the potatoes, bell peppers, onions and radishes and gently toss with dressing.
5. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to eat. Best eaten at room temperature.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Fun Ideas for the Holiday Weekend!

Many of you have Monday off from work for the Memorial Day holiday and the kids are out of school, so what is one to do with three days off in a row? We have some ideas! No matter what you are in to, make the most of this beautiful weekend!

Go Camping!
Take you friends, family and pets and get out in nature! Whether you go to the mountains or just down the road to McDowell Park. Camping can be an inexpensive and highly enjoyable activity! There is something so relaxing about just sitting outside listening to the breeze or the sound of a running creek, staring at a fire or taking a walk through the woods. Grab your tent, sleeping bag, water and some snacks and you're ready to go! Don't forget the watermelon! We have local, organic watermelons on sale right now for only $5.99.

Hit a festival!
There are lot's of activities going on this weekend in the surrounding areas! Check out Freedom Weekend Aloft, an annual hot air balloon festival in Simpsonville, SC, NC Hops and Roots Festival in Pittsboro, NC featuring regional food, beer and wine, White Squirrel Festival in Brevard, NC with live music, a parade, local food and brews and the 5K/10K Squirrel Race, spend the day at the U.S. Whitewater Center on Sunday rafting, climbing or ziplining, then stick around for free music and fireworks or get your Nascar fix at Speed Street in uptown Charlotte, Run or walk the 5K at the Go the Extra Mile Patriot Festival at South Park's Symphony Park, or listen to gospel and ride the rides at JoyFest at Carowinds!

Head to the Ballpark!
There are four Charlotte Knights this holiday weekend, with fireworks after the game on Saturday and free admission for active and veteran military personnel to Monday's game, also followed by fireworks. Knights games are fun for the whole family! Click here for more information.

Check out Bass Pro Shop!
Bass Pro Shop in Concord is hosting a Summer Kickoff event. Take a family "camping" pictures, let the kids can create nature inspired art and compete in several challenges. More information can be found here.

Alternative Ideas!
Have a picnic, read a book, visit a museum, try some diy projects, go swimming, have a cookout, take a hike, rent a boat, get some r&r, stargaze, go to the park, plant some flowers, go to the zoo, take advantage of Medical Screening Services at HHM South End, play in a sprinkler, check out the Carolina Raptor Center, the possibilities are endless! Let us know in the comments what you end up doing this weekend!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Meatless Monday: Lemon Mint Quinoa Salad


1 cup quinoa, rinsed & cooked by directions
3 green onions, sliced with tough ends removed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed in a garlic press
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
Salt and lemon-pepper, to taste
¼ cup almonds, chopped


1. After quinoa has finished cooking, remove from heat and cool on a cookie sheet.
2. Place the cooked and cooled quinoa, green onions, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Stir until combined. Season with mint, salt and lemon-pepper. Mix well.
3. Top the salad with the chopped almonds. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Customer Appreciation Day, this Saturday! All Five Locations!

Please join us this Saturday at Customer Appreciation Day! We have some great things going on at all five of our locations! Fun for the whole family and tons of giveaways! Sign up for our E-Newsletter here to receive a big announcement tomorrow evening, regarding Customer Appreciation Day!

South End
Products samples and demonstrations: Garden of Life, vegan and local KW Collards gluten-free My Dad's Cookies, vegan and local Pink Chocolate Cupcakes, local Sadie's Fish Cakes, Ultima Replinisher, Healthforce Nutritionals, gluten-free Taste of Sunrise Pancakes, local Boquete Coffee, raw, vegan and local Luna's Living Kitchen, local Lenny Boy Kombucha, local Elaine's Slices of Heaven Bakery, local Villa Antonio, vegan and local Chelly's Cake-N-Pastries and local Boone Barr.
Beer and wine tasting: Tryon Distributing, Freedom Beverage Co., Dionysus Wine Distributors and Global Wine Distributors.
Local practitioners: Maximized Living, Jubilation Acupuncture, Reiki Education and Research Institute, Evolution Fitness, Yoga, Martial Arts, Avalon Light Therapy and Kamati Massage and Yoga.
Plus: Food samples through out the store, raw and vegan samples from our very own Chefs Rian and Ami, delicious treats from Chef Mike and Crispin, a smoothie demo by FYI Cynthia Hill, local handmade jewelry from SkyeTurtle Designs, entertainment from Jeff Brown, gift basket drawings and a cookout in front of the store featuring all natural beef burgers, veggie burgers, natural chips, natural sodas and handmade sausages. Meals only $2.99!

Product samples and demonstrations: local Beam Family Farms, local KW Collards, Nordic Naturals, Nutraceutical, Curamin and ZuZu Luxe.
Beer and wine tasting: Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and 17th Street Wine Distributors.
Local practitioners: Maximized Living and chair massage with Montse Ferragut
Plus: Lite 102.9 will be broadcasting live from 12pm-2pm with prizes, HHM gift basket drawings, entertainment and balloons for the kids!

Product samples and demonstrations: local Rooster Hill Farms, local Cathy's Homemade Biscuits, local Empanada's 2Go, Honest Tea, gluten-free Taste of Sunrise Pancakes, vegan and local KW Collards, local Elaine's Slices of Heaven BakeryGarden of Life and Buried Treasure.
Local practitioners: Maximized Living
Beer and wine tasting: Tryon Distributing, Global Wines Distribution, Ararat Import and 17th Street Wine Distributors.
Plus: food samples through out the store from Chifles Plantain Chips, EnerGMax Bars and local Hearth Strings Foods, gift basket drawings and an iPad 2 giveaway, courtesy of Garden of Life.

Product samples and demonstrations: vegan and local KW Collards, New Chapter, Greens Plus and Curamin.
Local practitioners: chair massage with Raymond.
Plus: food samples through out the store, gift basket drawings and a cookout in front of the store featuring all natural beef burgers, all natural hot dogs, natural chips and natural sodas.

Product samples and demonstrations: local Tarheel Dog Treats, vegan and local KW Collards, local Beam Family Farms, and Wild Bee Honey.
Wine tasting: local Woodmill Winery.
Local practitioners: massage with Lisa Kemerait, iridology with Myndi Patrie, nutritionist Corrine Lewis, life coach Liz Sakatos and Robb Worthington of Foothills Transition.
Plus: gift basket drawings and samples through out the store!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tofu Tuesday: Green Bean Ginger Spaghetti Stir Fry


4 cups green beans, ends trimmed
1 (16 ounces)box spaghetti
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
1 (14 ounce) block extra firm tofu, 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup low sodium tamari soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
2 inches fresh ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 green onions or scallions, sliced, divided
1 bell pepper, cut into strips


1. Bring 2 large pots of salted water to a boil over high heat. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. When the first pot of water boils, add the green beans and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the beans turn bright green, but still maintain their crunch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the green beans to the ice water bath to immediately stop the cooking process. Transfer the green beans to a plate after they cool.
2. Add the pasta to the other pot and cook according to package instructions, or until the pasta is just cooked. Drain, taking care to reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta’s cooking water. Transfer the pasta back to the pot.
3. Place 1 tablespoon of the oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and brown on all sides for about 5-7 minutes. Drizzle the tofu with 2 tablespoons of the tamari and 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil. Stir to ensure that the tofu cubes are evenly seasoned. Taste the tofu and adjust its seasoning if desired. Transfer the tofu to a plate.
4. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the same pan that you cooked the tofu in. Add the ginger, red pepper flakes, garlic and 3/4 of the sliced scallions to the pan. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until the ginger and garlic begin to become fragrant. Add the blanched green beans and bell pepper strips to the pan. Stir fry for about 3-4 minutes, or until the veggies are just cooked through.
5. Pour the remaining soy sauce and toasted sesame oil over the green beans. Add the tofu and cooked pasta to the pan, tossing to ensure all ingredients are evenly seasoned.
6. Remove the pan from heat. Sprinkle each serving with the remaining sliced scallions.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Meatless Monday: Brie and Egg Strata


2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups diced unpeeled Yukon gold potato
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 pound ciabatta, cut into 1-inch cubes, toasted
cooking spray
4 ounces brie cheese, rind removed and chopped
1 cup egg substitute
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Coat a 13 X 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, potato and bell pepper and sauté 4 minutes or until tender.
3. Stir in tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
4. Combine onion mixture and bread.
5. Place half of bread-onion mixture in greased baking dish. Sprinkle with 2 ounces of the brie. Top with remaining bread-onion mixture and the other half of the brie.
6. Place egg substitute and eggs in a medium bowl. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, herbes de Provence and pepper. Add milk, stirring with a whisk until well blended.
7. Pour egg mixture over bread-onion mixture. Let casserole stand for 30 minutes.
8. Preheat oven to 350°.
9. Bake for 50 minutes or until casserole is set. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cinco de Mayo: A Little History + Recipes!

Saturday is Cinco de Mayo, a day celebrated not only in Mexico, but throughout the US as well. Many people wrongly believe that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day, when in fact, it is a celebration of Mexico's triumph over French occupation. The United States strongly supported the Mexican government’s resistance to the French occupation and the people of Mexico never forgot this. In gratitude, thousands of Mexicans crossed the border after the attack on Pearl Harbor to join the U.S. Armed Forces. As recently as the Persian Gulf War, Mexicans flooded American consulates with phone calls, trying to join in and help fight with the U.S.
While many are unaware of the true meaning behind the May 5th holiday, people everywhere sure love to celebrate it, usually with Mexican (or a variation of) food and beer, and often with friends! This Saturday, try your hand at some of these delicious, often unique, healthy versions of Mexican (or a variation of) fare. Your family, friends, guests, you...whoever...are sure to be impressed! Please also take some time to reflect on what we are all celebrating. Esperamos que disfrute estas recetas y tener una celebración segura y saludable!

Pineapple- Chipotle Salsa
Coctel de Camarones
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
Crab Stuffed Jalapenos with Guacamole
Huevos Rancheros Verdes
Charred Chile Relleno w/Green Rice
Chicken Breasts w/Green Chili-Almond Cream Sauce
Adobado Pork Tenderloin
Blueberry-Lime Margarita
Passion Colada