Monday, January 30, 2012

Meatless Monday: Spiced Coconut Lentil Soup


1/2 large red onion
1/2 red chili
Thumbsize piece of peeled ginger

1 clove garlic
1 cup red lentils
1 can coconut milk
3 cups filtered water
1 scant tsp vegan vegetable bouillon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
Pink Himalayan salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime
1 heaped tsp coconut oil

1. Finely chop the red onion.
2. Heat the coconut oil in a heavy based saucepan. Add the onion, season, cover and allow to soften for several minutes.
3. Meanwhile, mince the chili, garlic and ginger together. Add to pan, cover and cook for a few more minutes until the flavors begin to infuse – your kitchen should be full of wonderful aromas by now.
4. Rinse and sort the red lentils and add to pan along with the ground coriander, paprika and cumin. Mix thoroughly and then pour in the coconut milk and water. Sprinkle in the vegetable bouillon and lightly season with some pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5. Cover, bring to the boil and then lower to a gentle simmer for forty minutes, ensuring to stir frequently.
6. Juice the lime and set aside.
7. When the lentils have softened and almost disintegrated to form a thick, creamy soup, take off the heat, pour in the lime juice, taste for seasoning and serve with a few fresh coriander leaves for garnish.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Top 3 Health Benefits of Vitamin D

With Winter in full force, most of us are spending less time outdoors and are therefore receiving less natural vitamin D from the sun. And Winter is probably the season when we can benefit from vitamin D the most. During colder months, natural sunshine can be replaced with vitamin D supplements and/or eating foods rich in vitamin D. Here are just three of the many health benefits of vitamin D.

Immune Support
Vitamin D triggers and arms the body's T cells, the cells in the body that seek out and destroy any invading bacteria and viruses. An article on Care2 states:
Numerous immune compounds depend on vitamin D, including PCL-gamma1, a molecule that activates immune cells so they’re capable of fighting infections. In addition, lung cells are among those that secrete 1a-hydroxylase, an enzyme that converts inactive vitamin D to its active form, helping fight respiratory infections. The vitamin D then turns on genes involved in immunity and boosts levels of cathelicidin, a powerful germ-fighting compound.
Strengthens Bones and Muscles
Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. Taking a calcium supplement alone is not enough for normal bone formation and strengthening. Vitamin D also plays a role in normal muscle production. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to weakened muscles, loss of range of motion and physical frailty. After analyzing 20 studies, which included more than 44,000 patients, Bischoff-Ferrari wrote in Osteoporosis International that 1,800 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D could greatly reduce the risk of falls in seniors.

Lower Risk of Cancer
Researchers from around the world have linked low vitamin D levels to to a higher risk of breast, ovarian, kidney, pancreatic and aggressive prostate cancer. Taking a vitamin D supplement, eating foods rich in vitamin D and/or spending time in the sunshine has been proven to lower your risk of developing these types of cancer. Research performed at the University of California determined that the incidence of colon cancer in the United States and Canada could be cut in half if people took 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily, and that women would reduce the incidence of breast cancer by half if they took 3,500 IU of vitamin D daily.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Meatless Monday: Refried Bean Burgers


1 16 oz. can vegetarian refried beans
1 4 oz. can chopped green chiles
1 egg, beaten
½ cup plain bread crumbs
¼ cup onion, finely chopped
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Chili powder, garlic powder and cumin to taste


Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Wet hands and form batter into round patties, about ½ inch thick. A single batch should make about 5 patties. Place on cookie sheet. Broil until tops are browned. Flip and broil on other side until browned. Total cooking time should be about 20 minutes, depending on your oven.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Meatless Monday: Unbeef Stew


1 pound extra firm regular tofu,
frozen and thawed
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
5 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tamari
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 large carrots
4 potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 tomato, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon basil
3 tablespoons margarine
5 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with water until not lumpy


1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Drain the water from the tofu, and cut into slices and squeeze more water out.
2. Then cut the slices into chunks and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet while chopping the rest of the ingredients (check the tofu about every 10-15 minutes so that it doesn't get browned - it should just be dried out, not burned).
3. The tofu should be well dried out, like croutons. Place all of the prepared ingredients into a crockpot, stir well, and cook on high for at least 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally. The stew is ready when it is thick and brown. It makes a lot!

Serves: 8, Preparation time: 30-45 min. for preparing ingredients, then 8 hrs. to stew


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

6th Annual Health and Wellness Fair - Saturday, January 21 at South End!

Studies have found that approximately 35% of New Year's resolutions fail before the end of January! Don't let his happen to you! We are here to help! Healthy Home Market will be holding our 6th annual Health and Wellness Fair on Saturday, January 21 from 1pm - 4pm, at the South End location. This is always our biggest event of the year, so you don't want to miss out! We will hold our ever-popular gift basket drawings and one lucky customer will receive an iPad 2 courtesy of Garden Of Life! The floor, as well as, the Community Room will be filled with vendors, educators and practitioners, all here to help you bring your mind, body and spirit into a state of balance of well being!

Food/Wine Vendors - Free Samples
Twin Cakes Bakery, Thumann's All Natural Deli Meats, KW Collards, Roots Hummus, Pink Chocolate Cupcakes, Bushelle Seasonings, Coconut Bliss Ice Cream, Daisy Gales' Delights Brickle, Iron Brew Coffee, Wisdom Beverage, Fine Wine Trading Company and Dionysus Wine Distributors.

Vitamin Vendors - Free Demos and Samples
IonWays Alkaline Water, Nutraceutical, MegaFood, Country Life, Garden of Life, Nordic Naturals, Himalaya, Gaia Herbs, Cellfood, Jarrow, Ultra Lab, Barlean's, Michael's and Eclectic Institute.

Practitioners in the Community Room - Learn About and Participate in Various Alternative Healing Modalities
Reflexology with Theresa, Blood Pressure Checks with Judy, Iridology with Cyrilla, CranioSacral Therapy with Kelly, Scalar Wave Laser with Dr. Leang Eap, Nutritional Microscopy with Jason Fowler of ProHealth DynamicsEPFX/SCIO with Joy Fanning, Ear Candling with Georgia Bush and Neuromuscular Therapy Massage with Jess Houston, both of MC3 Salon and Wellness Center, Amethyst Bio Mat with Susan, AllerCease Technique with Dr. Kristien, Migun Beds of Charlotte with Tom.

Practitioners on the Sales Floor - Learn About Various Alternative Healing Modalities
Dr. Brandan Lee of Family Healing Chiropractic, Vortex Magnetic Energizer with Susan, Medical Screening Services with Ray Fritsch, The Blood Guy, Acupuncture and Reiki with Mei Yin, Mike Love with Carolina CranioSacral Therapy Exchange, Quantum Body Work with John Winstead and Joseph with Hillard and Associated Soy Candles.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Meatless Monday: Marinara "Meatball" Sub


10-12 ounces vegan meatless meatballs
8 ounces marinara or pizza sauce
2 long submarine sandwich or French rolls, sliced lengthwise
1 large handful fresh spinach
Handful fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or vegan alternative)


1. Preheat oven to broil. Cook meatballs on the stovetop according to package. In a large sauce pan, pour in marinara sauce then add in warm meat balls and stir to submerge them.
2. Cover and let simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes, stirring gently occasionally. Lay out both sides of cut roll on a cookie sheet.
3. Arrange spinach (and optional basil) on 1 side of each roll. Scoop finished balls with extra sauce on spinach side.
4. Top with cheese. Broil for about 3 minutes, or until bread is toasty and cheese is melted. The meatballs won't be very firm, but will be very delicious.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Liven Up Your Kids' Lunches!

We are now in the latter half of the 2011/2012 school year and if you have been packing lunches everyday, you may be losing steam or running out of ideas. Or you may be hearing "I'm tired of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches everyday..." So, to help you and your kid(s) get through the rest of the school year, we have put together a list of quick, healthy, kid-friendly ideas to liven things up a bit!

Try some new sandwiches!
How about Strawberries and Cream Cheese, Almond Butter with Dried Cranberries and Almond Slivers, Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato, Apple Butter and Apple Slices, Hummus with Sliced Peppers or an awesome sub sandwich? Or ditch the bread, try their favorite sandwiches on a pita, in a tortilla, on a bagel, in between soft pretzels or waffles!

Breakfast for Lunch!
Speaking of love breakfast. Wrap sausage in a pancake or send a breakfast burrito! Pack fresh fruit on the side!

Smoothies in a Thermos!
Create smoothies out of your child's favorite ingredients and put them in a thermos or stainless steel bottle. They will keep until lunch time, especially in an insulated lunch bag.

Make a Rainbow!
Try to include foods from as many different colors of the rainbow as possible! Natural colors from the Earth of course.

Include "Cool" Foods!
Older kids may feel embarrased by healthy lunches, especially when so many of their peers are eating Lunchables and Doritos. Try healthy junk food alternatives such as Stonyfield Farms YoKids Sqeezers, Fig Newmans or Annie's Cheddar Bunnies.

Surprise Them Once in a While!
Maybe on a Friday or when they're doing particularly well in school, surprise them with a special "kids meal." Chicken, fish nuggets or mini corn dogs (or vegetarian alternatives), tater tots or fries (available here in organic), sliced apples and an organic soda or soda alternative such as Izze. Include a prize. It doesn't have to be something new from the store, just surprise them with something they will like. It will give them something to strive for.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Meatless Monday: BBQ Black Eyed Peas and Collard Green Rolls

Happy New Year everyone! Here in the south, there is a tradition of eating black eyed peas and collard greens on New Year's day to bring prosperity and luck in the new year. Hoppin' John is also a favorite and when eaten the day after New Year's day, it is called Skippin' Jenny. Here is a great recipe to finish up those black eyed peas and collard greens left over from yesterday. You can wrap the Skippin' Jenny in the leaves in place of the black eyed peas, if you have it left over.


1 bunch of collard greens, 12 of the leaves set
aside for rolling (pick out the biggest, nicest leaves of the bunch)
1 tablespoon oil
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced thinly (your choice)
4 cups chopped collards
1 15 ounces black-eyed peas or Hoppin' John
3 cups BBQ Sauce


1. Slice off the stems of 12 nice collard leaves (run a knife alongside either side of the stem and then cut it out of the leaf). Boil a large pot of water. Submerge the 12 collard leaves into the boiling water and cook for 6 minutes. When done, use tongs to transfer them to a strainer and let cool. Handle with care!
2. Preheat a large skillet over medium, and cook the mushrooms in the oil for 5 minutes. Add the chopped collards. Cook for 7-10 minutes until the moisture has cooked off. Add the peas and cook through. Pour on 2 cups of the BBQ sauce and cook until the wateriness is gone. (5-10 minutes). Let cool.
3. Place a collard on a flat work surface with the side that has not been sliced facing you. Place some of the black-eyed peas mixture in the lower third of the collard. (The recipe says to put 2 tablespoon in each roll, but you may be able to generously use 1/4 cup in each, with some of the black-eyed pea mix still left over. It'll all depend on the size of your leaves though.) Fold the bottom up over the mixture, then fold in the sides. Roll the collard up, gently but firmly.
4. Roll all the collards. When ready to serve, spoon extra BBQ sauce over the rolls.

Source: Veganomicon cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero