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Health First Wellness Center

Cooking at Home!

We’ve all been doing a lot more cooking at home lately. I mean, a lot. In fact, 51% of Americans have been preparing more meals at home. Yet, only 26% have become better at planning those meals across the week. While it was fun at first to bake bread and take Instagram-worthy photos of our dinner, we’re now five months into a global pandemic and feel less inspired to plan meals. It doesn’t matter if you’re single or have picky toddlers or a house full of teenage boys. Meal planning is a challenge for everyone. Home cooks everywhere say the same thing: “I get tired of trying to decide what to make, so we eat the same things over and over again.”

You’re not alone in your meal prep weariness!

These days, we need to spend so much energy thinking about the big things — keeping our families safe and sending our kids to school — that we have zero energy left for other important everyday things, like what we should have for dinner. The food industry calls it “family meal fatigue.” Good nutrition doesn't have to be restrictive or overwhelming. Small goals and changes can have a cumulative healthful effect, and every little bit (or bite!) of nutrition is a step in the right direction.

Try a new approach each week this month:
Week 1: Use a grocery list to shop for healthful foods!
Week 2: Eat a variety of nutritious foods every day!
Week 3: Learn skills to create tasty meals!
Week 4: Plan your meals each week!


Want more tips? Consult our registered dietitian/nutritionist, Dana, who is specialized to serve your unique needs! (847) 519-7046

Try a new recipe and tag us in your post! @healthfirst_wellness on Instagram


APPLE SPINACH SALAD

Ingredients

10 ounces baby spinach
2 large apples, cored and thinly-sliced *(I used 1 gala apple, 1 granny smith apple, but any will do)*
Half a small red onion, peeled and thinly-sliced
1 cup walnut halves, toasted *(or pecans)*
2/3 cup dried cranberries
5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled *(or feta cheese, or blue cheese)*
1 batch apple cider vinaigrette *(see below)*

Champagne Vinaigrette Ingredients

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar *(or apple cider vinegar)*
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
a generous pinch of salt and black pepper
*(optional) *1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup, to sweeten

DIRECTIONS

To Make The Apple Spinach Salad

1. Add spinach, apples, red onion, walnuts, dried cranberries, and *half* of the goat cheese to a large bowl. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, and toss to combine.
2. Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining goat cheese.

To Make The Champagne Vinaigrette

1. Add all ingredients together in a bowl and whisk to combine. Or, add all ingredients to a mason jar, cover, and shake to combine.

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