06 February 2020

All-Day Nutrition: Dairy-Inspired, Plant-Based Recipes

From cereal and milk to yogurt and fruit to broccoli and cheese, combining dairy with plant-based foods creates a superfood power couple that can help ensure you and your family are getting the nutrients you need any time of day.

With the rise in popularity of plant-based diets, dairy can help optimize nutrient absorption from plant foods and provide additional nutrients like high-quality protein, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. You can create delicious meals with the nutrition you need while enjoying the best of plants and dairy.

Combining dairy and plant-based foods can be easier with these dairy-powered recipes from Milk Means More. They are ideal for creating a nutritious and delicious plan for every meal throughout the day. Start with a Blueberry Apple Crisp Smoothie Bowl in the morning then build out your lunch or dinner plans around an appetizer like this traditional Middle Eastern Labneh Spread with grilled pita bread and assorted veggies. For the main course, try Lentil Tacos with Tangy Guacamole and a classic Moroccan staple, Creamy Couscous with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Cheese, on the side.

Find more recipes that combine the goodness of dairy and plant-based foods at milkmeansmore.org.

Creamy Couscous with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Cheese

Creamy Couscous with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Cheese


Recipe courtesy of culinary dietitian Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups fat-free, 2% or whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups plain couscous (wheat pasta)
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil leaves
  1. In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook onion in butter 2 minutes. Add broccoli, garlic and pepper. Cook and stir 2 minutes.
  2. Stir milk into broccoli mixture. Bring to boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Gently stir Parmesan cheese into couscous mixture. Spread on serving platter. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Top with tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.
Lentil Tacos with Tangy Guacamole


Lentil Tacos with Tangy Guacamole


Recipe courtesy of culinary dietitian Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN
Prep time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Tangy Guacamole:
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon orange, lime or lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt

Lentil Tacos:
  • 2 1/3 cups water
  • 1 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups seeded and chopped tomatoes, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 12 yellow corn taco shells
  1. To make Tangy Guacamole: In small bowl, mash avocado, juice, hot pepper sauce and garlic. Stir in yogurt. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
  2. To make Lentil Tacos: Heat oven to 400 F.
  3. In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, lentils, onion, chili powder, garlic and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and gently boil 12-15 minutes, or until lentils are just tender. Uncover and boil 5-15 minutes, or until most liquid evaporates.
  4. Remove lentils from heat. Stir in 1 cup tomatoes and 3/4 cup cheese. Spoon into taco shells. Stand filled tacos in 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle tacos with remaining tomatoes and cheese. Loosely cover dish with foil. Bake 3-5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  5. Stir guacamole. Serve with warm tacos.

Labneh Spread

Labneh Spread


Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RDN of Jenny with the Good Eats
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 12 ounces whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt, for garnish
  • fresh herbs, for garnish
  • pita bread, grilled
  • assorted seasonal vegetables
  1. In bowl, mix Greek yogurt, salt and lemon juice.
  2. Transfer mixture to fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.
  3. Wrap mixture in cheesecloth and strain over bowl in refrigerator 24-48 hours. Strain longer to make thicker.
  4. Once thickened as desired, remove from cheesecloth and top spread with olive oil, sea salt and fresh herbs.
  5. Serve with grilled pita bread and assorted seasonal vegetables.
Blueberry Apple Crisp Smoothie Bowl


Blueberry Apple Crisp Smoothie Bowl


Recipe courtesy of Rachel Gurk of Rachel Cooks
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups apples, roughly chopped, reserving 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup spinach
  • pure maple syrup, to taste
  • ice cubes (optional)

Toppings:
  • 2 tablespoons oats
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pecans, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons reserved chopped apple
  • fresh blueberries
  1. In blender, blend blueberries, apples, cinnamon, yogurt and spinach until smooth. Taste and add maple syrup, to taste. If thicker mixture is desired, add ice cubes.
  2. Pour into bowl. Mix oats with maple syrup. Top smoothie mixture with oats, pecans, apples and blueberries.

04 February 2020

Time-Saving Kitchen Shortcuts That Don’t Sacrifice Quality

Time-Saving Kitchen Shortcuts That Don’t Sacrifice Quality

If coordinating schedules to gather the family around the dinner table is a victory in its own right, finding enough time to prepare a well-rounded, flavorful meal may just be a medal-worthy accomplishment.

Whether a weeknight dinner or special occasion, you can shave precious minutes off your kitchen work and dedicate more moments to doing the things you love with these time-saving ideas that don’t sacrifice quality.

Plan Meals Ahead of Time

Organizing your thoughts and scouring the kitchen for ingredients can take as much time as preparing the meal itself. Instead of wondering what you’ll make and whether you have what you need to make it, take time to plan meals a week ahead whenever possible. Think through a complete menu, including main dishes and sides, and take inventory of the pantry and refrigerator so you can build an efficient grocery list.

Use Ingredients in Multiple Recipes

When planning and shopping for your weekly meals, consider which ingredients you may be able to repurpose. Not only does using ingredients across multiple dishes help minimize waste, it cuts down on prep time. If you’ll be using chopped onion in multiple recipes, go ahead and chop enough for every meal and save the unused portions in the refrigerator or freezer.

Turn to Your Pantry for Simple Sides

Flavorful side dishes can be surprisingly simple. For example, Idahoan helps you put real mashed potatoes on the table in just 5 minutes. They start with 100% real Idaho potatoes from local growers then wash, peel, boil and mash them like you would at home. After cooking each batch, they simply fresh-dry the mashed potatoes so they’re ready for you to prepare at home.

Make Larger Portions

Cooking once and eating twice (or more) is an easy equation for saving time. Intentionally making more than you need ensures fuss-free lunches or plenty of leftovers you can heat up quickly for nights when the family is running in different directions.

Pre-Cook Proteins

For many meals, the main dish protein takes the longest to prepare. If you can carve out some time over the weekend or one night a week, multitask and make several batches of proteins to use later in the week. Cooking the proteins concurrently lets you pack multiple days of preparation time into a single super-sized session.

Use Time-Saving Tools

Traditional methods have their time and place, but a weekday dinner isn’t it. Rely on tools to get the job done faster, like a slow cooker that works hard all day so you can enjoy its labor when you return home or a food processor that takes the effort out of slicing and dicing.

Time-Saving Kitchen Shortcuts That Don’t Sacrifice Quality


Time-Saving Upgrades for Delicious Sides


Mashed potatoes are a crowd-pleasing dish that can be incorporated in a wide range of menus. While they can often be time-consuming, an option like Idahoan can help you put real mashed potatoes on the table in just 5 minutes because they take the time to create mashed potatoes from scratch so you don’t have to. This allows you to embrace the staple side dish’s versatility by freeing up time for you to incorporate simple twists like these.

Mix it up with all the fixings. From vegetables like corn or caramelized onions to classic garnishes like chopped fresh herbs, you can mix and match toppings for a new take on a loaded smashed sensation.

Embrace Tex-Mex flair. Create your own version of ethnic favorites like traditional Mexican papas. Add lightly sauteed red and green peppers, green onion, green chilis and shredded cheese for a Tex-Mex potato dish perfect for pairing with tacos or enchiladas.

Get garlicky. Add minced garlic and grated Parmesan cheese for a savory burst of flavor that complements the traditional potato taste.

Find more ideas to put meals on the table quickly at Idahoan.com.

03 January 2020

5 Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

If you worry that you or someone you love will get heart disease or even have a heart attack, it’s understandable.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Research shows you can lower your risk, particularly if you team up with family, friends or co-workers. This kind of social support may be the key to your success.

To mark American Heart Month, NHLBI, one of the National Institutes of Health, is inviting people across the country to team up and join #OurHearts, a national heart health initiative that encourages people to improve heart health together.

“Studies show that having positive, close relationships and feeling connected to others benefits overall health, blood pressure, weight and more,” said NHLBI’s Dr. David Goff, director of cardiovascular sciences.

5 Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

Consider these five tips that can help lower your risk of heart disease:


Risk: Inactivity

Solution: Move more throughout your day. Aim for at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity. Build up to activity that gets your heart beating faster and leaves you a little breathless. If you’re busy, try breaking your daily activity into 10-minute chunks.

Stay motivated: Make walking dates. Join a pickup soccer or basketball game. Join a fitness class with your neighbor. Grab a loved one and dance in your kitchen.

Risk: An unhealthy diet

Solution: Consider an option like NHLBI’s Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, which is free and scientifically proven to lower high blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.

Stay motivated: Invite friends to cook up heart healthy recipes together. Start a lunch club at work and trade recipe ideas.

Risk: Smoking, even occasionally

Solution: Quitting can be beneficial to your overall health, even if you’ve smoked for years. Set a quit date and let those close to you know. If you’ve tried quitting in the past, consider what helped and what made it harder.

Stay motivated: Ask your family and friends for support or join a support group. Find resources and connect with a trained counselor at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or smokefree.gov.

Risk: Inadequate or poor-quality sleep

Solution: Sleeping 7-8 hours each night helps improve heart health. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Getting a 30-minute daily dose of sunlight may also improve sleep.

Stay motivated: Resist that late afternoon nap. Turn off all screens at a set time nightly. Relax by listening to music, reading or taking a bath.

Risk: Uncontrolled stress

Solution: To help manage stress, try relaxation therapy and increase physical activity. Talk to a qualified mental health provider or someone you trust. De-stressing may also help improve sleep.

Stay motivated: Join a friend or family member in a relaxing activity like walking, yoga or meditation every day.

Learn about heart health and heart healthy activities in your community at nhlbi.nih.gov/ourhearts. Use #OurHearts on social media to share how you and your friends, colleagues or family members are being heart healthy together.

27 December 2019

How to Develop Your PPC Strategy

What is PPC?

Landing on Google’s first page is no easy feat. Now, with so much competition, brands need to understand the inner workings of PPC marketing. PPC, or pay per click, is a way of advertising online. Businesses create ads and pay a fee when someone clicks on it. Most people looking to venture into PPC marketing turn to Google Adwords. But before you start to think of strategy, you need to understand the benefits of PPC marketing.

How Does PPC Work?


PPC seems complex but in essence, it's more of a systematic process. When an ad spot opens on a SERP, search engine results page, the auctioning for keywords begin. The quality of content, ad placement and your bid amount all play a role in who wins top placement. For example, if you were looking for Long Island PPC management, you would have to tailor your content and ads so that it ranked higher than others competing for the same spot.

Benefits of PPC


PPC marketing does more than help you rank online. When done correctly, it can help you reach your KPIs and increase ROI. The key is understanding how to set up campaigns based on your goals.

In addition, results from PPC campaigns can give invaluable insight into consumer behavior and how your ads are performing.

Determine Your Goals


As with any type of marketing strategy, you need to define your goals. If you're just starting out, maybe you want to build brand awareness. Or, if you're an established brand and want to boost website traffic, you need to tailor your PPC strategy to reach your target audience at the right time. The idea is to have them take action, regardless of where they are in their customer journey.

Creating a Campaign


Brand Awareness


PPC campaigns need to be tailored to suit your needs. For instance, if your goal is to increase visibility, you'll want to create ads that use specific keywords in those ads. You also need to think of ad placement. Where you place your ads is just as important as they copy. If either falls short, you ad may not perform well. You need to use keywords that someone in this phase of customer journey would use.

You should also consider social media PPC. Using broad keywords in the awareness stage can boost visibility. However, using such broad search terms may result in a higher click-through-rate cost. A good rule of thumb is to keep cost under a dollar.

Consideration Phase


In this stage, consumers are starting to think about making a purchase. They may use more specific search terms to find exactly what they want. At this point, your PPC strategy needs to mimic what they are doing. This includes inviting copy that makes them want to know more. In addition, your keywords also need to reflect what consumers are searching for online. Banner ads and ads that are highly responsive usually perform well at this stage in the buyer's journey.

Lead Generation


Generating sales can be tricky. Even when people land on your website, they may not be ready to buy. Lead generation ads can help by capturing emails, which you can use later for retargeting marketing. At this point, your CTA needs to demand attention. Offering something for free, whether it's a free consultation or demo, or even sample product, is what you need to focus on.

Sales


Someone who is ready to buy acts different than someone who is still in the consideration phase. People in this category have intent to make a purchase, so your ads need to deliver. Content needs to be tailored to entice them to finalize the purchase.

Discount coupons, financing and shipping options should need to reflect in your copy. Sometimes, simply knowing that shipping is free can create a frenzy, especially if it's international shipping.

Final Thoughts


A successful PPC strategy is multi-faceted. It needs to include all of the goals that you hope to reach through the marketing funnel. The key is to optimize, analyze and refine through the buyer’s journey. If you're struggling with your PPC strategy, Long Island PPC management can help. Contact us today and we'll help you rank tomorrow.

17 December 2019

Planters for Any Décor or Area

As any shopper knows, finding the right décor elements can be a hassle. When it comes to finding a way to show off your designer senses and add a touch of greenery to any space, Pots, Planters and More makes it easier than ever to find the right choice. With a wide selection to suit any taste or area, there is no reason not to add some lovely flourishes to your home or business. 

What makes a great shopping experience when shopping for pots and planters? The matter of variety is key since there are so many ways to utilize this item. Here are just a few of the many ways to use planters in homes and businesses: 

Landscaping. Planters can be used outdoors to bring fresh life to an area. They can also be used indoors to bring a touch of greenery inside. 

Planters for Any Décor or Area


Privacy. The use of planters is ideal for creating privacy by blocking views of windows or seating areas such as on a patio. 

Highlight a doorway. This is a great way for business to direct visitors to the main entrance since large planters naturally draw the eye which makes the doorway a focal point. They can also be used this way in residential areas for added curb appeal. 

Control foot traffic. For larger locations, planters can be used to control foot traffic and direct people where to go. This is especially useful at large shopping malls, universities, and hospitals. 

Since there are so many different ways to use these items, the matter of a diverse inventory is key for anyone shopping for planters. Whether you are looking for something smaller to act as a table centerpiece for your home, or large planters to create a hotel a rooftop oasis for guests, this is a great resource to help narrow it down. With plenty of great options in a wide range of sizes and styles, Pots, Planters and More has something for you no matter how you plan to use it. The key to finding the right planter for your exact needs is to keep in mind the size, color, and material type, as well as whether you intend to use the pot indoors or outdoors. The more carefully you consider these main factors, the easier it will be to find the right outcome for the project.