Easy Thanksgiving Side Salads

www.cobornsblog.com - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne
Jayne

Brussels Sprouts - cobornsblog.com/jayneHey have I got a little guy that is just so cute I just have to talk about. He is the new and up and coming vegetable for those Thanksgiving Dinners. It is the fresh Brussels Sprout! He is the talk around town and you just have to check him out. If you love any type of cabbage he is your man. The flavor is so good, you can enjoy them hot or cold. I have always loved Brussels Sprouts so they will definitely be on my Thanksgiving menu. Here are a couple quick and easy recipes that I want to share with you, featuring… the Brussels Sprout! Continue reading “Easy Thanksgiving Side Salads”

Halloween Party Ideas

 

The Kitchen Witch

Halloween is right around the corner and it’s time to start planning your Halloween menu for those great Halloween parties. With the help of the very best Social Media and Video crew we put together our 2nd Annual Coborn’s Halloween Video. It was completed with a lot of laughs and a lot of makeup. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed creating it! Continue reading “Halloween Party Ideas”

Thanksgiving Table Decor with Free Printable Name Tags

Decorate your Thanksgiving table with personalized name tags! #FreePrintable - www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Practical Party Planning with Holly
Holly

I absolutely love this time of year. It seems that everyone is in a humble and grateful mood. Facebook and Twitter are full of people sharing what they are thankful for, my home is decorated in gorgeous burnt orange, golden yellow and earthy brown colors and the Vikings are on the TV. It is time to start planning for a festive family get together, Thanksgiving.

I will obviously have my table decorated with the colors of the season and have a delicious turkey roasting in the oven. I thought it would be fun to add a personal touch this year to my table setting with personalized name tags. Not only are these name tags crafty, rustic and oh-so-autumn, but they will make your guests feel special, too. It’s such a simple touch to tell someone that you’re thankful for them. Simply add them to the napkin decorations that adorn your table. The nice thing about these decorations is that you can make them weeks in advance in preparation for your Thanksgiving feast.

Decorate your Thanksgiving table with personalized name tags! #FreePrintable - www.cobornsblog.com

It’s easy, click here and print the tags on kraft paper. If you don’t have kraft paper, white paper will work just fine, I would suggest you use a thicker paper. Print and cut out as many tags as you will have guests and write their names on each tag. You can take it a step further and write a simple note to each tag as well to tell them why you are thankful to have them in your life. Attach the name tags to your napkins and add festive décor. You can add these to your place settings around the table or place them all in a basket at the end of your buffet line.

You could also leave these tags blank and when each person sits down at their place setting, they would fill out what they are thankful for. After everyone has written what they are thankful for, simply place all the tags in a hat and pick them out one by one during your meal and share them with all.

I hope that you have an amazing Thanksgiving with your family and don’t forget to tell them why you are thankful for them.

Holly
Coborn’s, Inc. Social Media / Creative Specialist

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Warming Up with Healthy Soups

Healthy Soups

Happy fall, everyone!

Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley. www.cobornsblog.com
Ashley

The leaves have turned their final colors and are now dropping off the trees at a faster rate, the days are more crisp and cool and there is a very evident chill in the air. I hate to say it, but ol’ man winter is right around the corner and there is nothing you can do to prevent it unless you plan to move to Hawaii tomorrow. The only option left is to prepare and embrace it! You may wonder what I am doing to prepare myself. Well folks, besides turning on my fireplace and drinking hot tea every chance I get, I’m spending more time in my toasty, warm kitchen making soups! Hot and healthy soups are a great way to warm the soul and allow you to step out into the bitter cold with a bit more confidence that you won’t just turn into an icicle.

Tips_1Here are some tips to keep in mind while preparing soups:

    • Use low sodium broths, not necessarily lowER sodium (lower than what?). LowER sodium could still be very high; in order for something to be labeled as “low sodium,” it needs to have under 140mg of sodium per serving. Remember, when there is no salt, you need to replace it with other flavors, so…
    • Use sodium-free seasonings, such as Chef Paul and Mrs. Dash, as well as herbs – fresh, dry, or freeze dried – and garlic powder and onion powder should be a staples, too.
    • If you need to thicken your soup, use pureed potatoes or cauliflower or any other vegetable to thicken, and use fat free Greek yogurt in place of cream. I always try to think seasonally this time of year, so I would thicken my soup with pumpkin or squash, or both, and then add a dollop of fat free plain Greek yogurt on top for extra creaminess! You could also try a slurry of cornstarch and cold water instead of cream or roux, but obviously there is more nutrition if you use veggies.
    • Speaking of veggies, soups are a very easy way to get a lot of vegetables into your diet. Add, add, add away! Maybe adding vegetables sounds like a lot of work, but it surely doesn’t have to be! You can use canned or frozen vegetables instead of fresh; that way they have already been washed and cut. All you have to do is open the can or bag and just keep adding! Make sure they are not in cream sauce or loaded with extra sodium, though. Try to buy the no-salt-added versions or just remember to drain and rinse for 2-4 minutes to remove that excess sodium. Canned and Frozen are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts. If you want to learn more information about this topic, click here to read my blog about how all forms of fruits and vegetables matter; canned, frozen, fresh, dried, and 100% juice.
    • Tips_2

    • If you are adding meat, make sure it is lean and always take off the skin; but who says you can’t make a seafood-based soup or why can’t it be vegetarian?
    • Try using tofu or beans and lentils as your protein base. Remember, canned beans are just as nutritious as dried beans and a huge time saver; just remember to drain and rinse them for 2-4 minutes to reduce the sodium by up to 41%. By the way, beans are so nourishing; they offer a good source of protein, iron, and fiber. Plus they are low-fat, not to mention very cheap compared to other protein foods. Cannellini beans work great for Italian-style soups while black or pinto beans are nice in Southwestern-types.
    • Don’t forget the whole grains! Get creative and use wheat berries, barley, quinoa, brown rice, or wild rice to name a few. You can either add them to the soup, or pour the soup on a bed of whole grains for something different. This will add fiber and keep you feeling fuller for longer. There is a laundry list of benefits of adding fiber to your diet, from weight loss to lowering your cholesterol and maintaining blood sugar levels, so don’t forget the fiber!
    • Think smart when it comes to toppings: Crackers may be the go-to soup topping, but there are other options that will add crunch or flavor to your soup, with some nutritional benefits to boot. If you are looking for a crunchy topping, try toasted whole wheat bread sliced into cubes or whole grain tortillas sliced into strips, misted with oil and placed under the broiler until crispy, or whole wheat bread crumbs are a great option, as well, and very easy! For creamy toppings, try nonfat plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or reduced-fat finely shredded cheese (the more finely it’s shredded, the less you’ll use). Avocados work great to add creaminess, as well, plus they are a fruit… BONUS! Also, fresh herbs such as basil or cilantro are always great to add as a final, flavorful touch to your favorite soup. Adding any veggies as toppings, not only add eye appeal, but also nutrition, of course!

     

    Below is my favorite soup recipe for this season!

    Squash and Fennel Soup with Candied Pumpkin Seeds

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    Squash and Fennel Soup with Candied Pumpkin Seeds
    Author: 
    Serves: 4
     
    Ingredients
    • Ingredients for the Soup:
    • 2 pounds winter squash, such as butternut
    • 2 medium bulbs fennel (I reduced this amount due to personal preference)
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds (I reduced this amount due to personal preference)
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 2 cups sliced onions
    • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
    • 2 dried red chiles de arbol, or a fat pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1 bay leaf
    • ¾ cup sherry
    • 8 cups water
    • ¼ cup Fat Free Greek Yogurt

    • Ingredients for the Pumpkin Seeds:
    • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, or whole seeds ground
    • 1 tablespoon land o lakes light butter
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • Generous pinch each of cinnamon, paprika, and cayenne (small amount)
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    Instructions
    1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Peel and cut the squash into 1-inch wedges, discarding the peel and seeds. Peel and core the fennel and chop it up into equally-sized wedges. Drizzle with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, and then roast until soft and caramelized, about 35 minutes.
    2. In the meantime, toast the fennel seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant, then grind or pulverize in a mortar and pestle. Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a heavy, large pot (like a Dutch oven) until it foams, then add the seeds, onion, thyme, chiles, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
    3. While the squash and fennel finish roasting, prepare the pumpkin seeds: melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat, then add the seeds, sugar, spices, and a pinch of salt. Toss well to coat the seeds and cook until they begin to pop and color slightly, moving them around the pan often. Remove from the heat, wait 30 seconds, then add the honey and toss quickly to coat. Spread on a plate to cool.
    4. Combine the contents of the roasting pan with the onion in the heavy pot and pour in the sherry. Allow to reduce for a few minutes, then add the water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Transfer about a third of the solids to a blender (purée it in batches to ensure the perfect consistency) and add ½ cup or so of the liquid. Turn on at low speed until the solids are completely puréed, then add another ½ cup of broth and turn the speed to high, adding liquid little by little until the soup has the consistency of heavy cream. Blend for at least a full minute on high speed. Follow this process for the rest of the soup.
    5. Serve the soup with some Greek yogurt spooned in, and topped with scattered pumpkin seeds.

    Happy soup making! The weather outside may add a chill, but this is sure to take that away, Honestly speaking, would soup taste so good if it was warm out? Nope, that’s for sure, so be thankful for the cold weather… I guess, okay maybe not thankful – that’s a bit far – rather make the best of it.

    Peace and Wellness,

    Ashley
    Coborn’s Supermarket Dietitian

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