Posts tagged ‘kitchen’

November 27, 2013

Holistic Holiday Nourishment

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‘Tis the season to pick up an inspiring, captivating book about 100 successful, goal-oriented women who overcome hurtful, heartbreaking and, in my case, life-threatening obstacles to achieve their personal and professional goals. Aspiring toward a position of influence is the driving force behind most young ladies who compete in pageants. In chapter 45 of the new book, Real Talk, Real Women, I discuss the ups and downs of competition and how entering a stressful environment with a foundation of self-esteem and confidence is imperative. Without first defining who you are and what you stand for, competition can consume you like a hungry lion, without mercy.

ImageLearning how to properly nourish my body propelled me into a healthier level of, well… life, quicker than I could say, “super foods!” I’ve never looked back.  Now, although I’m still fine-tuning my internal domestic goddess status, I enjoy creating healthy alternatives to some recipes. With a little creativity, I think I’ve created a good mix of healthy and favorite holiday fare for my family. Here are two dishes I’ll be making this Thanksgiving, and I’d like to share them with you. Tweet me @LaceyWPruett and let me know how yours turn out. It’ll be like we’re celebrating Thanksgiving together, from a far.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan 

Ingredients

            12 cups cauliflower florets (about 2 heads)

            1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

            1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

            2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

            2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

            3 garlic cloves, minced

            1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

            2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

            1/2 teaspoon salt

            1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 450°.

Place cauliflower in a large roasting pan or jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with oil; toss well to coat. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring every 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, thyme, tarragon, and garlic. Bake 5 minutes. Combine cauliflower mixture, cheese, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to combine.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples

Ingredients

            1/2 cup diced apple

            8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered

            2 tablespoons apple cider

            2 teaspoons olive oil

            1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

            1/4 teaspoon salt

            1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Combine apple and Brussels sprouts in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish. Add apple cider, olive oil, minced fresh thyme, salt, and freshly ground black pepper; toss well. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until sprouts are tender.

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On stage during swimsuit competition at the 2012 Mrs. United States Pageant in Las Vegas, NV.

It wasn’t until I ran for Mrs. Texas United States title that I felt I was a healthy pageant competitor. I guess it worked to, because I won the title on my first try, and went on to place 4th runner up at the Mrs. United States pageant. Learning to nourish my body, mind, and spirit is probably my greatest educational experience to date, as without it, I may not be alive. This was the motivation behind obtaining my certification as a holistic wellness coach. I want to continue helping other young women understand the importance of looking inward to achieve overall beauty and success. It was also my main motivation behind leaving my 12-year corporate career to pursue a full-time career as a spokesperson for health and wellness. Now, I joyfully remind people that: “Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.” It’s not that food is the enemy, but in a world consumed by emotional eating and corrupt body image, it’s a kind reminder that no food item can fill an emotional void or need. Being mindful of this fact is one of the healthiest ways to celebrate the holiday season.

For more about my story and perspective on the healthy side of competition, check out the book at http://www.realtalkrealwomen.net/lacey-pruett/ and order your own copy this December on Amazon.com. Pre-sale opportunities and digital copies are available now at the link above.  Happy healthy holidays! Lacey

December 15, 2012

Veggie Christmas Tree

Nice veggie tree online

Hi, there, HH Family and Friends! It’s Brooke here. Are you looking for a show-stopping appetizer for your holiday parties or for Christmas dinner? I have a great solution for you . . . a Veggie Christmas Tree! Now, for those of you who are craft-challenged like I am, just take a deep breath and relax. I worried about making this little masterpiece all week long, and when I finally got to it, this project was surprisingly easy and fun. This is also a great way to involve your kiddos in your kitchen festivities. Here is the link that I got my instructions from: http://www.squidoo.com/veggie-christmas-tree. I had too many veggies (is that possible?), so I adjusted the amount of broccoli, etc. from the recipe online.

What You Need

-For this project, you will need some craft items and plenty of fresh veggies.
-I used 8″x3″ green Styrofoam cone, for a just over 12″ tall finished tree, so the shopping list will work for this size tree.
-If you want a smaller or larger tree, just adjust your groceries accordingly.

Craft Items:
– Styrofoam cone – approx. 8”x3″
– small disposable veggie tray (you will be hot gluing the tree to the tray, so plastic, disposable works best BUT you could forego the glue and just set the tree on a nice dish, too)
– hot glue gun & glue sticks (optional)
– flat toothpicks
– round wooden skewers (optional)
– Linzer tart cookie cutter (for tiny star shape cutter)
– wire cutter or strong scissor (to cut skewers)

Grocery List:
– 2 large bunches Broccoli
– 1 large Broccoliflower
– 1 large Cauliflower
– 1+ Red Bell Pepper (depending if you would like to serve extra on the side)
– 1+ Yellow Bell Pepper (depending if you would like to serve extra on the side)
– 1 package cherry tomatoes
– 1 jar cocktail onions
– 1 bag of baby carrots

STEP 1 – Hot glue your Styrofoam cone to your plastic tray (optional). This makes a stable base and makes transportation very easy.STEP 2 – Cut your Broccoli, Cauliflower and broccoliflower into dipping sized pieces. Sizes should vary but shouldn’t be too large or too small.

STEP 3 – Attach your broccoli and broccoliflower to the cone with ROUND toothpicks, grouped in clusters, with larger pieces at the bottom and graduating up to the top. Don’t worry if there are small holes in your design, they will be filled in later with carrots and other decorations.

When you get to the top, and toothpicks are not long enough, cut skewers with a wire cutter or strong scissor to pick your veggies into place until you achieve a perfect tree shape.

STEP 4 – Cut 1 red pepper and 1 yellow pepper into dipping size strips. Tuck the ends of those strips into the tree, in a spiral, starting at the top and spiraling down to the bottom. Tuck a carrot in next to them to hold them in if needed. No toothpicks needed, here.

STEP 5 – Poke carrot sticks intermittently in holes between the broccoli and broccoliflower florets. No toothpicks needed.

STEP 6 – Use FLAT toothpicks to secure cherry tomatoes and cocktail onions to the tree. Poke small side all the way through onion or tomato. Press tomato or onion into tree.

STEP 7 – Cut out stars with small linzer tart cookie cutter from 1 yellow pepper. Save 1 large piece to hand cut 1 larger star for top, or make a paper stencil or use a larger cookie cutter if you’d like for large star.

Secure stars with toothpicks poked and secured right in broccoli pieces.

STEP 8 – Fill tray base with cauliflower.

STEP 9 – Refrigerate until serving. I spritzed it with water and covered with Press ‘N Seal, and it still looked completely fresh the next day!

Dips to Go With the Tree

You can also offer a selection of healthy dips for your guests to enjoy as they dismantle the tree. Hummus makes a wonderful, protein-rich dip for raw veggies. And if you think hummus tastes only slightly more interesting than wallpaper paste, you need to follow me! Here are two of my favorites:

Baby Zach’s Spicy Smoked BBQ Hummus—I mark the start of my love affair with hummus the day I tasted this. All of Baby Zach’s hummus blends are creative, vegan (and gluten-free), and delicious. You will be SO glad you tried it. Here’s the link: http://babyzachs.com/products/

Eat Well Enjoy Life’s Spicy Yellow Lentil Hummus (with Sunflower Seeds and Apricots)—If you like your food tricked up and awesome tasting, you have to try this gem. Eat Well Enjoy Life has a number of great hummus blends, which are also vegan and gluten-free. They will change your opinion of healthy snacking, I promise! Here’s the link: http://eatwell-enjoylife.com/our-hummus/

The Finished Product

My version of veggie tree

Well, mine didn’t turn out quite as lovely as the one shown at the beginning, but no matter. I still had fun putting it together, and you will too. Good luck and healthy holidays to you!

Cheers,

Brooke