Fruit Juices to Keep Colds Away

The folks at Omega Juicers, the ultimate work-horse for serious fans of fruit, vegetable and herb juices, have some cold weather recipes to boost immune systems and ward off cold and flu viruses. While berries are out of season for many, it’s fine to use the frozen variety.

Very Berry Blueberry Juice
Very Berry Blueberry Juice

Very Berry Blueberry Juice

Health Benefits:  Blueberries contain antioxidants such as vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, anthocyanin, iron, zinc, copper and selenium.  So with these “shields” you are helping to enhance your body’s immune system.  With a healthy immune system, you can help to ward off illnesses such as colds and the flu.

Ingredients:

2 cups Blueberries
2 Kiwis
10-15 Strawberries
1 cup of Mint leaves

Directions: Wash all produce well. Cut produce to fit into the hopper. Juice in an Omega juicer. Serve and Enjoy!

Carrot Juice
Carrot Juice

Carrot Juice

Health Benefits: Carrots contain high-levels of beta carotene, which is a powerful nutrient that boosts the immune system’s production of infection-fighting natural killer cells and T cells.  These cells are healthy and attack and kill off disease-ridden microbes.

Ingredients:

5 Medium Sized Carrots

½ Lemon

¼ Lime

12 Green Grapes

Directions: Wash all produce well. Cut the carrots, lemon, lime and grapes to fit in the hopper. Juice in an Omega juicer. Serve and Enjoy!

 

Green Juice
Green Juice

Green Machine Kale Juice

Health Benefits:  Raw kale is one of the best sources of vitamin C, important for protection against immune system deficiency.  Each 100 gram serving of raw kale includes about 120 mg of vitamin C, well over the recommended dietary amounts for men (90 mg) and women (75 mg).

Ingredients:

1 cucumber

4 celery stalks

2 apples

6-8 leaves kale

1/2 lemon

1 tbsp ginger

Directions: Wash all produce well. Cut produce to fit into the hopper. Juice in an Omega juicer. Pour over Ice or refrigerate until cold (optional). Enjoy!

Omega Juicer VRT400
Omega Juicer VRT400

GoBites: Whole Snacks Delivered

GoBites are portion controlled “snack packs” made with healthy ingredients from around the world.  The ingredients are 100% natural and include nuts, seeds and grains, fruits and exotic berries.  GoBites offers over 26 varieties of snacks and works with a variety of diets including:  Mediterranean, Glycemic Index, High Fiber and Gluten Free.  What is nifty about this product is that the palm-sized, low cal snack packs have custom delivery options and the variety of the packs included is based on customer preference.  We tried the Pomegranate Punch pack, which includes organic pineapple, mango and pomegranate, and what we enjoyed most was the sweet-tart flavor of the pomegranate pieces.  The Apricot Gluten Free Granola was a bit tough to chew, as the apricots were happily non-preserved, but really stuck to the teeth and left a slightly unpleasant after taste.  I would have liked a kick of ginger in this granola, perhaps delivered through crystallized ginger chunks instead of the organic ginger powder which was likely the culprit behind the aftertaste.

All in all, this is a fine option for people who want pristinely packed organic snacks conveniently delivered to the home, office, college dorm.  The dried fruits are excellent quality and the serving sizes are perfect for a couple handfuls of fresh tasting dried fruit.

Subscriptions start at $27.86 a month, with free delivery. For more information visit www.gobites.com

GoBites Snack Packs in the delivery package
GoBites Snack Packs in the delivery package
GoBites Apricot Gluten Free Granola
GoBites Apricot Gluten Free Granola

GoBites was sent to Redhead With A Fork free for review purposes.

Nicolette Bussanich, research associate, contributed to this piece.

LYFE Kitchen Microwavable Meals: Chicken Chile Verde Review

LYFE Kitchen Chicken Chile Verde
LYFE Kitchen Chicken Chile Verde

When time is of the essence or the weather is too hot to even think of cooking, LYFE Kitchen microwavable meals offer a quick-fix.  Brought to market by a team of chefs, nutritionists and doctors who aimed to create a frozen meal product that would be deemed restaurant-quality, the 11 item LYFE Kitchen line includes two soups (Organic Carrot Ginger, Sweet Corn Chowder), four breakfasts and five dinner entrees.  For breakfast, choices range from a Southwest Breakfast Wrap, Farmer’s Market Frittata, Oat Bran and Ricotta Pancakes to Steel-Cut Oatmeal.  Dinner entrées include Chicken Chile Verde, Nine Grain Pilaf, Orange Mango Chicken, Whole Grain Penne Pasta and Whole Grain Pilaf, all of which are free of artificial additives and preservatives. My husband’s favorite, the Chicken Chile Verde, is roasted seasoned white meat chicken cooked in a spicy green chile sauce. It’s served with black beans and polenta, the latter topped with pepitas. The meal is far more appetizing than other frozen entrees we’ve sampled and has a more toothsome quality along with a more enticing aroma. The cooking pouch is made from 100% recycled paperboard, which means less waste.

The website offers pairing tips for beverages and additional veggie sides.  The suggested retail price is $5.99 for the Chicken Chile Verde and the frozen meals can be purchased at Shop Rite and Kings.  These are decently sized portions which, in a pinch, provide a quick fix for those who want a more sophisticated option from the freezer involving minimal effort and a wallet-friendly price tag.

Cutting the eco-friendly pouch after being microwaved
Cutting the eco-friendly pouch after being microwaved
Chicken Chile Verde with Black Beans and Polenta plated and ready to eat
Chicken Chile Verde with Black Beans and Polenta plated and ready to eat

Chili Grilled Cheese Sandwich, a Happy Union of Two Comfort Foods

Chili filled grilled cheese sandwich
Chili filled grilled cheese sandwich

Arriving home too late to make a traditional dinner before my daughter Olivia’s basketball practice started, I offered quick options to my hungry gang: warmed up chili left over from our big game bounty on Sunday, grilled cheese, turkey vegetable soup made the night before. My son Josh asked for grilled cheese and my other daughter Isabel wanted that and chili. As I rushed to heat up the chili alongside the bread slices sizzling in nutty smelling butter, waiting for strands of cheddar to melt on top, it hit me: chili filled grilled cheese.

I announced my idea. A short silence followed, then big “oooohs” as Isabel, the blogger behind My Teen Love Affair With Food, fetched her camera. I spooned on a generous portion of the piping hot chili into the centers of the crisping cheese topped bread, folded the mates on top, and voila, a hearty melding of flavors and textures that made for a quick, comforting meal.

The meat I used in the chili was a combination of the chili coarse ground and traditional 85% ground chuck from Whole Foods Market. While it’s got enough spice to fuel the appetite, it doesn’t have more than a mild heat. The smokiness of the chili, creaminess of the mild cheddar cheese and butter browned bread were a fine marriage.