Healthy colorful salad

Eat Well: Recipes High in Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential in order for your body to function healthily. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements says, “[v]itamin A is important for normal vision, the immune system and reproduction. Vitamin A also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs work properly.” One of the other organs that vitamin A benefits is the largest organ of your body, the skin. Vitamin A is excellent for helping to treat acne and aging and it was the first retinoid to be approved by the FDA to effectively treat wrinkles. While vitamin A may help skin a bit more when applied topically, having some in your body certainly helps your skin and it provides essential functions for other areas of your body. Here are our three favorite fall recipes that are high in vitamin A.

Seared Sesame Tuna

Seared Sesame Tuna
Tuna is a good source of vitamin A. In a one ounce serving of tuna, you receive around 15% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A. This recipe calls for 6 oz tuna steaks, meaning that your seared sesame tuna accounts for over half of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tuna steaks (6 oz)
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (a sweet Japanese wine)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup black sesame seeds

Grab a small bowl and add soy sauce, sesame oil, raw honey and mirin together and divide into two equal parts. Pour one part into another bowl. Stir in rice wine vinegar and set aside. Spread black sesame seeds out on a plate. Brush soy sauce mixture onto the tuna steaks and press lightly into the sesame seeds. In a pan, heat olive oil on high heat. When very hot, place tuna steaks in the pan and sear each side for about 30 seconds (or longer depending on how you prefer your tuna cooked). Remove from pan and serve with the dipping sauce you set aside.

Roast Veggies

Harvest Vegetable Bake
This comforting dish combines three amazing sources of vitamin A. Just a one-cup serving of kale provides you with 354% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A. This recipe also calls for red bell peppers, sweet potatoes and squash which are all great dietary sources of vitamin A.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes diced
  • 2 red bell peppers diced
  • 1 small acorn squash diced
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 4 sprigs fresh sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add olive oil and butter to a pan over medium heat. Allow butter to melt, then add the sweet potatoes, bell peppers, squash and shallot. Season with garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. When sweet potatoes are tender, stir in the chopped kale and sage. Continue to cook over medium heat for five more minutes, until kale is wilted.

Dried Apricot Jam

Dried Apricot Jam
Dried apricots can be enjoyed on their own, but for a bit of variety mix up this tasty jam that a perfect addition to your morning oatmeal of slice of toast. A half-cup serving of dried apricots contains 151% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin A.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ cups dried apricots
  • 4 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup stevia powder (or less depending on how sweet you want your jam)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 1.75 oz package powdered fruit pectin

Bring water to a boil and add dried apricots. Cook for 30 minutes, or until apricots are hydrated. Take the apricots and water and place in a food processor with vanilla bean paste. Working in small batches, blend until well combined but still slightly chunky. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the processed apricot mixture with pectin and cook just until boiling. Add stevia powder and lemon juice and boil until dissolved, about one to two minutes.

In a stock pot, sterilize jars and lids for canning for five minutes. Pack apricot jam into jars, leaving about ¼ inch of room at the top. Once jars are filled, run a butter knife along the inside to get rid of any air bubbles and remove any jam residue from the rims of the jars. Add lids and screw on rings. Place a rack in the bottom of the stock pot and fill about halfway with water. Bring water to a boil, then using a holder, place full jars on the rack. Leave space between each jar and if necessary pour more water into the stock pot, enough so that there is about one inch of water on top of the jars. Bring the water to a roaring boil, cover the pot and allow 10 minutes to process. Remove jars from the stock pot and allow to fully cool, about one hour. When cool, press the top of each lid down to ensure it is airtight for storage.

Carrots, bell peppers, squash, kale and other dark, leafy greens and tuna are all excellent sources of dietary vitamin A. You can whip up a simple kale salad for lunch and add some chopped bell peppers, carrots and sliced tuna on top. Eating for your body doesn’t have to be boring or difficult, these three fall recipes that are full of vitamin A are simple, delicious and nutritious.

Baked apple

Eat Well: Fall Apple Recipes

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, or so the saying goes. Apples are a healthy, delicious and versatile fruit that is absolutely perfect during the fall. Apple slices make a great snack, but there are so many interesting apple dishes you can make. All of the fall apple recipes here can be made using any type of apple depending upon the flavor you want to achieve. A Granny Smith apple will give you a tasty and tart flavor to your meal while a Jazz apple lends hints of citrus fruits. Experiment with different apples to find your perfect fall apple recipe.

Fruit and Curry Chicken Salad

Fruit and Curry Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast cooked
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • 1 apple cored and diced
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins
  • ⅓ cup seedless grapes halved
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise

Shred (or dice) chicken breast. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

Homemade Applesauce

Homemade Applesauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 apples cored and chopped
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cover. Cook over medium heat until apples are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool, then mash together.

Apple Cranberry Sausage Stuffing

Apple Cranberry Sausage Stuffing

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups cubed whole wheat bread
  • 3 ¾ cubed white bread
  • 1 pound ground turkey sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 apple cored and chopped
  • ¾ cup cranberries
  • 1 ¾ cup turkey stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. On a large baking sheet, spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer. Bake for five to seven minutes, until evenly toasted, in preheated oven. Remove from oven and transfer cubes to a large bowl. Cook sausage and onions over medium heat. Add celery, sage, rosemary and thyme and cook for several minutes to blend all flavors. Pour sausage and onion mixture on top of bread cubes. Add chopped apple and cranberries to the bowl and  mix. Drizzle turkey stock and melted butter over the baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove foil and cooked uncovered for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Apple Pecan Quinoa Salad

Apple Pecan Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large apple chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup pecan pieces

Add chicken broth and quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the saucepan and allow to cook until all broth is absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, Dijon mustard, maple syrup and ground cinnamon. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired. Drizzle sauce over the quinoa and stir. Add apple and pecan pieces and cover saucepan. Allow the mixture to steam together until apples are slightly softened, about five to 10 minutes depending on your preferences.

Everybody loves a fresh apple pie or a warm apple crisp, but these recipes give you unique ideas on how to use fall’s favorite fruit. Relax and enjoy a cozy autumn night with a plate of baked chicken and apple stuffing or enjoy the quinoa salad for lunch on a crisp fall day. Try different apples, fresh herbs or other spices to customize these recipes to your palate. Relax

Pumpkin recipes

Eat Well: Fall Pumpkin Recipes

When you think fall you think pumpkins and when you think pumpkins you think pie, cookies and lattes. While pumpkin pie is definitely a must-have for fall, we’ve rounded up three fall pumpkin recipes that use pumpkin in ways you might not have before. We’ve got a breakfast, lunch/dinner and dessert that are perfect for fall.

Pumpkin pancakes.

Pumpkin Pancakes
Start a cold weekend morning off with a cozy taste of fall.. These pumpkin pancakes are a treat for the whole family.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups milk or milk substitute
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt

In a bowl mix milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. In a separate bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt. When combined, add to the pumpkin mix and stir gently, just enough so that the two are combined. Heat a pan over medium heat and pour batter onto the pan using ¼ cup at a time. Brown on both sides and serve with your favorite topping. This recipe makes about 6- ¼ cup pancakes.

Pumpkin soup.

Pumpkin Soup
Warm dishes and the ubiquitous fall flavor are the perfect mixture for fall. Try this creamy soup to fill you up and keep you warm.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 ¾ cup fresh cubed pumpkin (use 1-inch cubes)
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ½ clove garlic, minced
  • 2 whole black peppercorns

Bring chicken stock, cubed pumpkin, onion, garlic, thyme, peppercorns and salt to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Remove one cup of the mixture at a time and puree using a food processor or blender. Return all of the pureed soup into the original pot and bring to a boil once again. Reduce the heat to low once again and allow the pureed soup to simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir in the heavy whipping cream, pour into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley. This recipe makes about four servings of soup.

Pumpkin mousse.

Pumpkin Mousse
Everybody loves pumpkin pie or pumpkin spice cookies, but this easy mousse is a new and delicious way to serve pumpkin for dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 24 small marshmallows
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ⅓ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Begin by melting the butter in a large skillet. Stir in marshmallows, milk and pumpkin. Continue to stir frequently until melted, creamy and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Allow to cool completely for about 30 minutes. Combine confectioner’s sugar and heavy cream in a bowl, then beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cooled pumpkin mixture and spoon into serving dishes. Cover and place in the fridge until firm (around two hours).

There are so many amazing culinary uses for pumpkin, you just have to think a bit creatively. Make a savory pumpkin chili or whip up a pumpkin protein smoothie. Gather your family and test out our fall pumpkin recipes for a fun and filling meal.