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Winter Sunshine

This morning God’s glory shone bright! The brilliant winter sunrise lit up the sky, while glistening through the frost that settled from the evening before. Given the usual months of gray here in Washington, we should take every moment we can to soak up the sun. Sunlight gives us vitamin D, improves our mood, gives us higher quality sleep, gives us stronger bones, and lowers blood pressure! The sun is so important to our physical and mental well-being! When the sun shines, make the healthy choice to take it in!

It is interesting how many of the benefits of sunshine also come to us in fruits and vegetables. The sun’s benefits are captured in the growing process and released to us when we eat and process them. Fruits and vegetables are packed full of the things our bodies need to fight disease and maintain health.

One of the simplest things we can do for our physical and mental health, besides taking in the sun, is to eat more organic fruit and veggies. There is not a better time to be eating the rainbow than during the NW winter months, and especially with the added stressors of this year. Eating a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables every day will help you get the full range of health benefits they have to offer!

Red is a strong color of life which can be symbolic of our heart and arteries. Red fruits and veggies serve as a major source for heart health and can help prevent heart disease. 

Orange as a color represents an abundance of strength and life, and foods with this color can help you feel the same way! Orange fruits and veggies are stock full of vitamin C, another strong antioxidant which boosts the immune system and also protects against cardiovascular disease.

Yellow is another bright color that represents happiness, joy, and health. Yellow fruits and veggies contain carotenoids and bioflavonoids, water-soluble plant pigments that function as antioxidants.

Green represents nature, the environment, and wellness! Green fruits and veggies are packed with fiber and beta-carotene. Green fruits and veggies also contain phytochemicals such as lutein and indoles which help lower your risk of certain cancers, improve eye health, and promote healthy bones.

Blue and purple foods contain, flavonoids, and vitamins D & K. They help promote bone health, can help lower the risk of certain cancers, improve memory, and increase urinary-tract health. 

When you eat a healthy variety of organic fruit and vegetables you not only fill your body with what it needs to stay strong, you feel good about the choices you are making to take care of yourself, improving mental health. So, take in as much sunshine as you can and eat more fruits and vegetables! Doing these two things are two of the easiest ways to serve your whole self: mind, body, and spirit. 

Bringing the sunshine,

Tristan and Joelle

*Consider gifting a Box of Good or one of our beautiful gift baskets, to a friend or loved one. It will nourish their body and brighten their day!  

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Tristan’s Sunshine Smoothie Recipe

Tristan’s Sunshine Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients
  

  • 1 inch ginger peeled
  • 1 inch turmeric peeled
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 handfuls any greens spinach, kale, chard, lettuce
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 satsuma peeled
  • Water (add last and filled halfway up the container) More water makes it easier to blend, less water makes it thicker, more like a “milkshake” – your preference. Start with less water and add more if needed. 

Instructions
 

  • In a Vitamix or similar high-powered blender combine all ingredients and blend! If you don’t have a high-powered blender, first blend the greens, ginger, chia, and turmeric with the water, then add the frozen fruit.
Keyword Banana, Blueberries, Ginger, Kale, Lemon, Lettuce, Satsuma, Spinach, Strawberries, Swiss Chard, Turmeric
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Kielbasa Cabbage Potato Skillet

Kielbasa Cabbage Potato Skillet

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound potatoes peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2-1 tsp kosher salt adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp refined coconut oil or light olive oil plus more only if needed
  • 1 small onion chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound kielbasa sliced thin
  • 1/2 medium head green cabbage sliced into ribbons, about 4 cups worth
  • 2 tbsp water

Instructions
 

  • Peel and chop the potatoes, rinse the potatoes and place them in a medium-size glass bowl. Sprinkle the potatoes with ½teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper, stir or toss with your hands.Microwave the potatoes for 4 minutes, stir and microwave an additional 2-4 minutes until fork tender.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and as soon as it's shimmering, add the onions. Saute for a few minutes, until the onion is barely tender and lightly browned. Add the garlic and the kielbasa. Cook while stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes. When the potatoes are tender, add them to the skillet. Toss to coat, adding a small additional drizzle of oil only if needed.Spread the potatoes across the pan and allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes, stir and continue cooking until lightly browned.
  • Add the cabbage and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to combine, add 2 tablespoons water to the skillet and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover with lid. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the cabbage is bright green and barely wilted. Taste and add additional salt, only if needed. Enjoy!
Keyword Cabbage, Garlic, Onion, Potatoes
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Parmesan Zucchini Tomato Chicken Spaghetti

Parmesan Zucchini Tomato Chicken Spaghetti

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 zucchini sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast uncooked, sliced
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 8 oz. spaghetti uncooked
  • 1 cup red cherry tomatoes each sliced in half
  • 1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes each sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese grated

Instructions
 

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat until hot. Add sliced zucchini, sprinkle with salt, and cook, on medium-high heat, for about 5 minutes, flipping once, until the zucchini is soft and slightly browned. Remove zucchini from the skillet.
  • To the same skillet, add one teaspoon of olive oil and sliced chicken breast. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and cook on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, flipping chicken slices a couple of times,until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/4 cup of basil pesto with the chicken slices.
  • In a large pot, bring water to boil, add spaghetti, and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions.Drain pasta.
  • Add cooked and drained pasta to the skillet with the cooked chicken. Add red and yellow cherry tomatoes (each one sliced in half). Add another 1/4 cup of basil pesto, stir everything together, and reheat gently on low-medium heat. Taste and add extra basil pesto (if desired) and extra salt, if needed. Remove from heat. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese over the pasta in the skillet.
  • When serving, sprinkle each individual serving plate with extra Parmesan, if desired.
Keyword Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini
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Maple-Cinnamon-Banana-Pear Baked Oatmeal with Walnuts

Maple-Cinnamon-Banana-Pear Baked Oatmeal with Walnuts

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large ripe bananas (the riper the better) sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup diced and peeled ripe pears 1/2-inch dice
  • 5 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup uncooked quick oats
  • 5 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup fat-free milk, or dairy-free milk such as almond or soy
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375° Lightly spray a 8 x 8″ or 9 x 9″ ceramic baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  • Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on the bottom of the ceramic dish. Top with the pears, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, 2 tablespoon of the maple and cover with foil.
  • Bake 20 minutes, until the bananas get soft.
  • Meanwhile,in a medium bowl, combine the oats, half of the walnuts, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt; stir together.
  • Ina separate bowl, whisk together the remaining maple syrup, milk, egg, and vanilla extract.
  • Remove the fruit from the oven, then pour the oat mixture over the baked fruit.
  • Pour the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible over the oats.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and walnuts over the the top.
  • Bake the oatmeal for about 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set. Serve warm from the oven.
Keyword Banana, Eggs, Maple Syrup, Oats, Pear, Walnut
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Pear, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad

Pear, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad

Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Salad:

  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans toasted
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 3 oz. feta cheese crumbled
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Bartlett pears (firm but ripe) cored and sliced
  • 9 oz. baby spinach

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Whisk all dressing ingredients in a bowl to blend well. Place all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl, drizzle with desired amount of dressing then toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately.
Keyword Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey, Pear, Pomegranate, Spinach, Walnut
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Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound parsnips peeled
  • 1 pound carrots peeled
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tbsp divided
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 leeks tops and roots removed, cleaned of sand and diced large, about 1 cup
  • 1 large sprig rosemary, plus 2 tbsp minced divided
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions
 

  • Cut large parsnips or carrots in half lengthwise, otherwise leave whole. Cut all in half horizontally so they are all half size. In order for the vegetables to cook correctly, they need to be uniform in size. Place all in a large bowl.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a large saute pan,place 1/4 cup of olive oil, garlic, leeks, whole rosemary sprig, salt, pepper, wine and water. Cook over medium high for five minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and discard rosemary. The leeks will be soft.
  • Pour cooked leeks over vegetables along with two tablespoons of olive oil and the minced rosemary and toss.
  • Pour out onto a sheet pan in a single layer and roast for 15 minutes. Flip vegetables and roast for about 10-15 minutes more until browned and tender.
Keyword Carrots, Garlic, Leeks, Parsnips, Rosemary
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Paleo Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Paleo Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 9

Ingredients
  

For the Cake:

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325°and line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper.
  • Make the crumb topping first: in a small bowl, combine coconut flour, almond flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Mix well- it should resemble wet sand. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl,combine coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and pumpkin. Mix well.
  • Add in the eggs and mix until incorporated.
  • Add in the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until no dry pockets remain. Pour into prepared pan and top with crumb topping. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Store in fridge.
Keyword Maple Syrup, Pumpkin
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Green Beans With Citrus Vinaigrette

Green Beans With Citrus Vinaigrette

Prep Time 12 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 18 mins
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds green beans trimmed
  • 5 1/2 tsp olive oil divided
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped shallots
  • 3/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 1/2 tsp fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan, and add green beans. Cook beans for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender, and drain. Rinse with cold water, drain, and set aside.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots; cook 2 minutes or until shallots begin to brown, stirring constantly.
  • Combine the shallots, lemon rind, lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Slowly add 4 1/2 teaspoons oil, stirring well. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the beans, tossing gently to coat.
Keyword green beans, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Shallots
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Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh chopped parsley optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and add salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes fall apart easily when pierced with a fork.
  • Meanwhile,heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan, until the butter is melted. Keep warm.
  • As soon as the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander.
  • Place hot potatoes in mixing bowl and mix until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Slowly add in milk/butter mixture.
  • Turn up speed and beat for about 30 seconds, or until milk is absorbed.
  • Serve warm topped with extra butter and parsley (if desired).
Keyword Parsley, Sweet Potatoes