September 2015 - Julie Green and Keen
Happy National Women’s Health and Fitness Day to all you wonderful women out there.  Today is a day to focus our attention on the importance of physical activity and health awareness for all women. 

Many organizations around the country host women’s health and fitness events at hospitals, health clubs, park and recreation districts, and so many other locations.  It is great because the events held are all fun, non-competitive and very informative.  I am so happy I heard about this great day and happy to bring awareness to it.

Last year over 100,000 adults participated in health promotion events at more than 1,400 local organizations.  I am going to participate in an event today at local parks and recreation club about vegetarian lifestyle.  It is a great way to showcase how this lifestyle can really change your life.

I love that National Women’s Health and Fitness day has a grassroots nature and provides an opportunity for local organizations to showcase all their wonderful programs and services they offer.  It is a good way to educate and give back to local communities. 

In honor of this great holiday, I want to share one of my favorite healthy fall snacks, Pumpkin Pie Energy Bars.


Ingredients-
·         1 cup pitted dates
·         ½ cup raw cashews
·         2 tbsp. raw pumpkin seeds and 1 tbsp. to garnish if desired
·         2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
·         ¼ cup rolled oats
·         1 tsp. ground cinnamon
·         ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
·         ¼ cup pumpkin puree

Instructions-
·         Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Place parchment paper on the bottom of an 8x8 baking pan and spread the mixture to fill evenly. (it will be really sticky, beware)

·         Press the mixture down and sprinkle the garnish pumpkin seeds if you would like and freeze for 2-3 hours until solid.  Slice and enjoy this wonderful fall snack. 

·         Keep the bars in the freezer so they do not become mushy.

For more information on National Women’s Health and Fitness Day click here.

Go green and stay keen,

Julie

A couple years ago my husband and I met a couple staying at a bed and breakfast near our home.  My husband and I were having coffee and they asked to join us.  Our simple cup of coffee turned into a day of adventure.  They were from the Caribbean and in California for a vacation.  It was so fun getting to know them and doing things we do all the time with a set of fresh eyes.

After meeting, we kept in contact through Facebook in case we were ever in the same area again.  They came back to California this past week for a business conference and we opened up our home to them.  It was great seeing them again, and as a thank you they cooked us their favorite dinner.

Caribbean food is so delicious.  After dinner I begged to get the recipe, it was so good.  They were kind enough to share their favorite recipes with us so we will be able to transform our meals into a paradise.

Here are two of the Caribbean recipes they shared, and I promise they are to die for.



Creole Rice Pilaf

Ingredients-

1 ½ tsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
1/3 cup minced shallots
½ cup sliced scallions
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 ¼ cup diced plum tomatoes
1 ½ cup short-grain brown rice
3 ½ cup vegetable broth, boiling
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. Bragg liquid Aminos

Instructions-

Heat oil and crushed red pepper in a saucepan on medium heat for 1 minute.  Add the shallots, scallions, and celery and cook for about 3 minutes until adding the mushrooms and tomatoes, and cook 2 minutes before adding rice.  The entire mixture for 2 minutes while stirring.

Add the boiling broth, coriander and thyme into the saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 45 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.  Stir in the liquid aminos and enjoy!

Caribbean Style Sofrito- this makes 6 servings, they like to feed a crowd! :D



Ingredients-

1 green bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch cubes
½ orange bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch cubes
½ yellow bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch cubes
5 tomatoes, cored and chopped
½ bunch of green onions, chopped
¾ bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
3 fresh tomatillos, husks removed
½ cup chopped garlic

Instructions-
Put the green, red, orange, and yellow peppers, tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, tomatillos, and garlic into a food processor or blender and pulse or blend to make the your desired consistency, either chunky or smooth. Season lightly with salt.

Enjoy!

Hope these recipes can transport you to a Caribbean escape in your kitchen!

Go green and stay keen,

Julie

The kids first day of school is tomorrow and they are having mixed feelings of excitement and sadness because the summer is over.  They both got new backpacks this year and have them all filled with notebooks and pens ready to go.

We got to do so many things together this summer and were able to cross everything off their summer to do list.  It was a wonderful summer.



Because it is the last day before they start school, I want to make them a nutritious dinner so their brains are ready for tomorrow.  I am making my eggplant lasagna that they love.  Eggplants are great vegetables with so many benefits for everyone.

Here are some healthy facts about eggplants that will make you want to add them to your regular diet.

Eggplants have essential nutrients that your body needs like iron, calcium, and many other minerals.

Eggplant skins contain essential phyto nutrients that improve blood circulation and nourish the brain; perfect for back to school after a summer of fun.

Eggplants have fiber to protect and regulate the digestive tract.

For many years eggplants were used to control and manage diabetes.  With research it was proven because of the high fiber and low soluble carbohydrate content.

Eggplants are high in bioflavonoids that control high blood pressure and relieve stress.  Good for those first day of school jitters.

Regular consumption of eggplants can also help prevent blood clots because of the vitamin K and bioflavonoids that strengthen capillaries.


I believe that a good dinner and breakfast are the key to a successful day at school for children.  Food fuels the brain and the body so that it performs to its highest capability.  I am lucky I taught my kids at a young age to like foods that are good for their bodies and minds.  Now Hannah and Liam prefer “healthy” food over junk food, almost all the time :).

It makes me proud to see them make good choices and grow stronger and bigger each year.

I am sure tonight is going to be the “I don’t want to go to school, I want it to be summer longer,” but with this dinner and homemade ice cream for dessert, it should make it a little more bearable for them.

Happy first day of school for all the other kids out there!

Go green and stay keen,

Julie


The Wonderful Eggplant

by on 9/07/2015
The kids first day of school is tomorrow and they are having mixed feelings of excitement and sadness because the summer is over.  They bot...