Pass on the Table Salt 

Much talk has happened recently regarding salt. We’ve probably all grown up with a salt shaker on the table, that probably contained something called Morton Ionized Table Salt. As you got older, you mostly likely heard in your high school health classes that salt is deterimental to your cardiac health. You might of even seen your parents use Mrs. Dash on their food in attempts to use less salt when flavoring their food. When I worked in the hospital I remember countless times bringing a patient their meal tray with Mrs. Dash packets instead of salt. So it’s no mystery that although salt is necessary in our diet, it needs to be limited. Salt can contribute to water weight and high blood pressure creating potential problems and harming our health. But is all salt one in the same? Does all salt harm our health in the same way traditional table salt can?

If you’ve been to the grocery store to buy salt in the last year you’ve probably seen more than just one option. On the shelves are Sea Salt, Pyramid Salt, Black salt, Himalayan pink salt, Keltic salt, Real salt…etc. As creatures of habit, most of us probably pick what we know unless there was a reason to try something new. Hard to take chances with something like salt, it is necessary to flavor so many of our meals. Can’t eat popcorn without it!

I’ve been using Himalayan Pink salt for a few years and completely love it! It is relatively inexpensive, tastes just like the table salt that I’m used to, and it is a pretty color. I switched to this salt after hearing the lack of nutrient value table salt offers compared to other less refined salts. So let’s talk Himalayan salt benefits…

Minerals are an important part of our health. Himalayan pink salt contains 84 minerals and trace elements. The body needs minerals and trace elements to operate properly and provide balance. Table salt falls short, it consist mainly of sodium chloride and chemicals like anti-caking agents to allow salt to flow smoothly out of a shaker. Himalayan pink salt also contains less sodium than traditional table salt, which can be helpful to those who need to limit sodium intake.

According to a clinical study, Himalayan Pink salt provided benefit in “normalizing of mineralization in the human body” and was “effective in helping to stabilize pH and Oxidative Stress numbers in the human body.”

One theory claims that a proper pH balance (more alkaline) is a way of fighting disease. Supporters of this theory believe that acidity is the mother of all diseases and that we can reduce acidity in the body and promote our health when we consume alkalizing foods. Himalayan pink salt is a food that promotes an alkaline environment in the body.

According to an article on globalhealingcenter.com, Himalayan pink salt offers benefits such as decreasing signs of aging, promoting bodily water levels, aiding in respiratory and sinus function, aiding in proper sleep, promoting bone health, and stabliizing blood sugar. I’ve never heard of table salt making such claims!

But there is one good thing about traditional table salt. It has added iodine. The government added iodine to promote health. One health benefit is it decreases the number of thyroid issue i.e. Goiters, an enlarged thyroid. But since I don’t have table salt in my home, I have to make sure my family and I consume iodine in another fashion. Sea weed is one food that is high in iodine. Since it’s not likely that my husband will ever let any sea weed near his mouth, I buy Braggs Sea Kelp delight. This seasoning is high in iodine and has a mild flavor. I add it to pastas, soups and salads often.

Now go on, go flavor your food with some Himalayan pink salt and add some minerals along with color and flavor to your plate!

 

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Veggie & Bean Soup 

When it’s cold outside, there isn’t anything much better than a warm bowl of soup to get you through winter nights. Soup hasn’t been one of my favorite meals for long, I used to be disappointed whenever I ate it because I never felt full. This colorful dish is packed with protein and veggies, it’s healthy, harty, and delicious! There is something so satisfying about taking 8 plus fresh ingredients and making a beautiful dish from scratch, that also happens to be tasty; so get to it!


Ingredients

  • 32 ounces of vegetable broth
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of great northern beans
  • Half a yellow onion
  • 2 cups of kale
  • 1-2 zucchini
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 cup of Parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 Tbs oregano
  • 1/2 Tbs  basil
  • 1/2 Tbs of Braggs sea kelp delight (for nutrition)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How To 

Chop, chop, chop all veggies and place in crock pot. Add in drained and rinse beans and spices. Now add vegetable broth and stir. Set crock pot to high for three hours or low for five. Stir occasionally to integrate spices evenly into soup. Yep, it’s that easy! Serve, sip and enjoy!

Prep time: 2o minutes 

Cook time 3-5 hours 

Enjoyers: approximately 6 

Garlic Potato & Chipotle Black Bean Tacos

If I had to pick only one genre of food to eat for the rest of my life it’d probably be…Mexican. My husband and I have spent many days in Mexico working at a church our home church in California is affiliated with. One of the highlights of our trip, other than serving the people, would be the food! Is there anything better than an authentic street taco? Sadly, I’m sensitive to gluten and dairy (I know, lucky me). My food problems can keep me from enjoying some of my favorite, so I’m happy when I can create a Mexican inspired dish that doesn’t make me sick.

Chipotle and garlic don’t normally go hand in hand in my mind, but in these tacos they compliment each other perfectly. These tacos are healthy, juicy, and muy rico!

Start by washing, skinning, and chopping three russet potatoes and place in a separate bowl. I try to chop potatoes into smaller bite size pieces. Once in a bowl, top with salt to taste and three cloves of minced garlic. (After this step, I let the bowl sit on the counter for one hour because I wasn’t ready to bake. Consequently, some pieces turned brown. This was okay because it was just a product of the potatoes being exposed to oxygen).

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Place potatoes on a cookie sheet covered with path net paper and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Check occasionally to assure potatoes don’t get overcooked.

While your beautiful garlic potatoes are going from ivory to golden brown, take a break until your timer reads 15-20 minutes left.

Now that your potatoes are nearing their end in the oven, turn your attention to the stove. Place a large skillet over medium heat and dump bag of spinach. Turn spinach with a utensil until spinach becomes soft. Once soft, empty one can of drained black beans into pan and mix together. Once warmed pour 8 ounces of your favorite chipotle sauce over the beans and spinach and mix together. Keep skillet over low heat for about ten minutes to let the flavors marinate!

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Your yummy juicy, crunchy tacos are now ready to be served. On a corn tortilla fill with potatoes and top with chipotle mixture. Tacos are tasty as is or topped with Perfect Guacamole. Go eat and enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 3 Russet potatoes chopped into bite size cubes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • Favorite Chipotle sauce (I use Frontera)
  • Corn tortillas

How To

Wash and peel potatoes then chop into cubes. Place all potato cubes into bowl, add minced garlic, salt and stir together. Place potatoes on top of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Check potatoes occasionally to make sure they reach desired level of crispness. Depending on size of cubes might need more or less than an hour.

In a skillet, heat spinach and drained beans over medium heat. Once spinach softens add chipotle sauce and let simmer for approximatly ten minutes. Your tacos are now ready to eat. Place cooked potatoes in warm tortilla and top with chipotle mix. Serve with Perfect Guacamole! Enjoy!

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 1 hour, 20 minutes 

Enjoyers: 4

Perfect Guacamole

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One of my all time favorite lunches! Yep you heard it, I sometimes make guacamole as my main dish for lunch. I will also make it in the morning, for an afternoon snack, late night snack, side with dinner… You get the picture.

Having ready to eat avocados in our home is a must! You can make guac in many different ways and some of them are are not so good. I can tell you from experience it’s a bad day when things go south. But, thankfully, I’ve mastered a guac recipe that I’m excited to share with the world. It’s simple, yet perfect!

Ingredients

2 ripe organic avocados

one half of a lime (lemon will do as well)

1-2 cloves of minced garlic (3 if small)

about seven cherry tomatoes

salt to taste (I use aproximately 2-3 tsp of Himalayan pink salt)

How to 

To start, peel avocados rather than cut, this way you don’t lose some of the greener part of the avocado that is sometimes hard to get when you scoop with a spoon. The greenest part of the avocado has the most antioxidants, let’s make sure to eat it!

Once avocados are peeled and placed in bowl- mash, mash, mash. Once mashed add lime, garlic, tomatoes, and salt.

Scoop with favorite chips and enjoy!

prep time: 5 minutes 

Enjoyers: 2-4 

Warm Quinoa and Veggies

Quinoa is one of my all time favorite foods. I love it, I mean, I really love it!  Quinoa is fast, filling, and super yummy! Quinoa is also a complete protein, meaning it contains all 20 amino acids found in animal meats. Since I don’t eat a lot of meat, quinoa helps me get adequate protein in my diet. This recipe is simple, it’s basically a bowl of a few of my favorite foods. I’ve sent my husband to work with this dish countless times. It’s still great after being reheated.

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Ingredients

2 cups of rinsed uncooked quinoa (any color)

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 cup broccoli cut

1 cup zucchini cut

1 cup greens (spinach, kale or both)

1-2 clove’s of garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

In a large sauce pan cook quinoa according to package directions. Once cooked add coconut oil to warm quinoa and stir until oil is completely melted. The coconut oil gives the quinoa a soft texture, I almost never serve quinoa without it.

Once quinoa is cooked and has been graced with coconut oil, mix in all chopped veggies and garlic. Let sit over low heat stirring frequently for 5-10 minutes until veggies are softened. Your beautiful quinoa is ready to be served. Add salt, pepper, and enjoy!

Prep time: 25 minutes 

Serves: 4