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For most of us, the main Thanksgiving meal is pretty much all about the turkey. It's the centerpiece of our plates and preparing it might even be the focus on and the highlight of the day itself. Well, there’s some stuffing, some cranberry sauce, and of course some pumpkin pie in there too. But it’s rare that we go back to the historical roots of Thanksgiving, at least when we're planning our menu.

What (We Think) The Pilgrims Ate

Traditionally, the pilgrims and Native Americans were supposed to have consumed venison fish and shellfish, pumpkin, potatoes, and various fruits and vegetables during the original Thanksgiving dinner. However, no one knows exactly what was served during the original American Thanksgiving meal at Plymouth Rock, of course, but it probably wasn’t as tasty as all of the delicious options that we have today.

So how can you pay homage to the Native Americans when you celebrate Thanksgiving this year? Start by going relatively basic with at least one side dish, so you can experience the flavors - or lack thereof - that they most likely would have had to work with. Here are two easy ways to get a little Native American influence on your Thanksgiving table...

Make Some Cornbread

And that all begins with bread, particularly cornbread (which the particular group of Native Americans that the settlers at Plymouth Rock would have been able to make. Wild rice might have rounded out their carbohydrate needs as well. And while it wasn’t really a thing in the northeast where the pilgrims landed, fry bread is a Native American or First Nations classic, so it wouldn't be totally out of place if you wanted to pay them some homage in the form of your Thanksgiving meal.

Or Go Traditional With Cranberries

Cranberries were both also something that these settlers would have enjoyed, although the way they used them bears virtually no resemblance to the cranberry gel that holds the shape of the can that some of us enjoy today.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Whole-Foods

You’re not the only person who complains that Whole Foods is too expensive. But if you feel like you can’t afford to shop there, you may be shopping wrong! We've compiled the ways that you can hack your Whole Foods experience and save a bundle on high quality groceries. 

Your Daily Bread

It’s baked fresh in-store and you cannot beat the quality for the price.

Review Your Receipt

Read over your receipt before you leave the store. See if they didn’t give you a sale price on something or if the price was wrong, because usually they will give you that item for free.

Sample Anything And Everything

Sample almost anything in the store. It’s their policy. 

Take ALL The Coupon Flyers

Whole Foods releases coupon booklets every two months, but the coupons in them are valid for three.

Stack Your Deals

You're allowed to combine a Whole Foods coupon, a manufacturer coupon, and several rebate offers on any given item. So pile them up! Note that the Whole Foods policy is to present your coupon with each item rather than at the end, so be organized in the checkout line and everyone will appreciate it.

Be Smart At The Salad Bar

The lighter the food, the less it costs. Examples: Skip tomatoes or cucumber since they’re heavy and go for the dressing on the side. Pile on the leafy greens though!

Buy Produce On The Weekends

Their produce is absolutely the best but it’s even more discounted on the weekends!

Six Bottles Of Wine = 10% Off

Like you needed an excuse to buy multiple bottles of vino at once.

The Butcher Can Do The Work

Let the butcher break down a chicken, pound a chicken or tie up a pork loin roast for free.  The fishmonger will even steam your fish for you!

Stalk Them On Social

Follow their sale days. Follow Whole Foods on social media to find out the best sales for each day. For example, on Fridays, it’s the best day for discounts on meat or seafood. 

Get your whole dinner at Whole Foods:

You may not see the Whole Foods prepared foods counter as the place to get a whole meal but they have plenty of deals on prepared meals, especially closer to the end of the day.

Buy 365

The 365 products are not only competitively priced, but some of the items like the salsa, soap, tomato sauce and pita chips are also of the best quality. 

Go Big In Bulk

The bulk section actually has some of the best deals! Plus if you buy 25 lbs or more of anything, you get 10% off.

Happy shopping!

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Remember when this video was being passed around social media? It caught the attention of lots of moms and dads, and it's still pretty noteworthy. It features a little boy asking about his dinner, which happens to be octopus spaghetti (he's Italian). What follows is a conversation that raises questions about what we eat. 

A 2010 Vegetarian Resource Group poll stated three percent of youth ages 8-18, or an estimated 1.4 million young people, are vegetarian, or at least abstaining completely from eating meat. While most vegetarian children follow the diet because the entire family does, that is not always the case.

When Nejla Abbed’s middle child became a vegetarian, she was not surprised. Her son Kaiden Spiro, 11, began to eliminate meat at age three after connecting the source of the food with what was on his dinner plate. An encounter with a grocery store’s seafood department ended with Spiro refusing to eat the “dead” fish he saw in front of him. This stood out to Abbed as the point when her son began his vegetarian journey.

In the eight years since, Abbed, Spiro, and their family have worked to make compromises at mealtime to keep the family’s dinner ritual intact.

Moral vegetarians, like Spiro, place parents in a challenging position by requiring special meals. For Abbed, respecting her son’s vegetarian lifestyle meant small changes to family meal planning, such as preparing meat separate from the rest of the meal.

Abbed said, “If he were just being picky, if it were just that, then I wouldn't cater to it.” Instead, Abbed works to find ways to get protein into Spiro’s diet throughout the day. She does however, put her foot down at his request that meat be removed from the table altogether since the rest of her family continues to eat meat.

An even bigger challenge though? Eating out.

The fact is “kid fare" is not vegetarian friendly. Most restaurants offer chicken fingers and hot dogs, leaving non-meat eating children with few choices outside of a grilled cheese sandwich.

While finding nutritious food at restaurants can be hard, vegetarians can easily maintain a healthy diet with a bit of planning. As Brown University notes on its Health Promotion website, “The key to any healthy diet is to choose a wide variety of foods, and to consume enough calories to meet your energy needs.”

For moms like Abbed, having a vegetarian child simply means that a bit more creativity and flexibility are required from the whole family, at least when it comes to food. 

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We know the last thing the internet needs is another taco recipe, but we can’t resist sharing this one with you, courtesy of a chef and friend of WomensForum...

This is my go-to recipe when I want to impress my guests with "fancy" tacos, whatever that means these days. But, I find that by using rib eye instead of skirt steak, it can elevate the street food taco to a luxurious meal. 

Living in Los Angeles and so close to the Mexican border, there is no shortage of taco outlets in every corner, whether at a taco truck, in a cozy hipster shack or in the fancy eateries throughout town. There are fervent debates as to what makes a good taco, aspects that are all considered at the yearly city competition aptly named "Tacolandia," which determines who makes the best taco in town. L.A. takes their tacos seriously.

But, the taco seems to be a national even a worldwide obsession and I can see why. The tortilla is a perfect canvas and vessel to create infinite combinations of ingredients from all types of cuisines. That’s why we all love the taco on every menu. But don’t mistake tacos for a cop-out meal.

Growing up eating tacos in Mexico as a kid and as an adult, I have learned that tacos, good tacos, are anything but a cop-out. In Mexico, details go into every element of the taco from the tortilla, to the meat preparation, to the salsa and garnish. So in this recipe, I’ll show you how to easily make each ingredient stand out. Then we are literally going to layer the flavors on what will yield an exquisite taco. I should also mention that the majority of this meal can be prepared ahead of time!

Marinated rib eye taco with chipotle black bean puree, topped with an avocado tomatillo salsa and crunchy red cabbage …that’s what’s for dinner today. Buen Provecho!

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Rib Eye Tacos with Avocado Salsa Recipe

Ingredients

Rib Eye Marinade

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 6 tablespoons chile powder or chile ancho powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 12-ounce rib eye steaks (boneless)
  • Salt

Chipotle Black Bean Puree

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans
  • 2-4 chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Avocado Salsa

  • 1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and quartered
  • 2-3 serrano peppers
  • ¼ cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 avocados, peeled and pit removed
  • 8-12 corn tortillas
  • Red cabbage, shredded
  • Radishes, sliced in rounds
  • Salt 

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Directions

  1. Mix together orange juice with chile powder, garlic salt and Worcestershire sauce with a whisk until chile powder is fully dissolved. Place steaks in a large baking dish and pour half of the marinade over steaks, then turn steaks around and pour remaining marinade to coat steaks on all sides. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. To make black bean puree, place black beans and chipotle chile peppers in a blender and puree until you get a smooth but thick consistency. Adjust seasoning with salt if necessary. Heat olive oil in a saucepan and add bean puree, cook for 3 minutes over medium low heat stirring often until heated through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. For Avocado Salsa, first blend tomatillos and serrano peppers together. Stop blender and add onion, garlic, and cilantro and continue to blend. At the very end, add 1 to 2 avocados (amount of avocado depend on the size of the avocados and your consistency preference). You are looking for a smooth almost creamy salsa. Add salt to taste and pour into bowl and reserve.
  4. Preheat your grill to a medium high. Remove steaks from marinade and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill the steaks for about 6 minutes on each side, turning once. Remove from heat and transfer to a cutting board, allow meat to rest for at least 10 minutes. Slice steaks into strips and set aside.
  5. To assemble tacos, warm up corn tortillas and spread a layer of black bean puree on tortilla. Arrange rib eye steak strips and top with a spoonful of avocado salsa, a handful of red cabbage and garnish with radish rounds. Repeat until full or you run out of ingredients.

Serves: 4-6

For more of Lori's recipes, visit www.cocinachronicles.com.

Photo Credit: Lori Sandoval 

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We're always seeking ways to look more beautiful - as well as amazing recipes and delicious foods. So naturally we're thrilled that Caroline Artiss, one of our favorite multi-talented influencers in our network - she's an author, chef, nutrition expert, and restauranteur - shared her story along with her best tips for eating well and looking amazing. And don't we all want to shine from the inside out? 

Born in London and now living in southern California, Caroline got started in the restaurant business at a young age - she first trained as a chef when she was fifteen years old, and knew early on that food was her path in life. In fact, she used to watch cooking shows when she was young and learned to make the most of the resources that her family had. Master Chef was one of her favorites; she's also a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain (who isn't) and Jamie Oliver. In fact, she even got to work with Jamie when she was a contestant on the reality show Chef Race

Caroline at Cochon555-37168For the unfamiliar, Chef Race was a 2012 show that pitted American and British chefs against each other to cook across America without any money, accommodation, or anything but their skills and their wits! 

Some of her favorite experiences on the show included spicy jalepeño margaritas in Santa Fe, casual pints and pub grub at the Pint in Chicago, and cooking pizza on the beach in a rave in California. "That's what made me fall in love with America!" she says. 

Although when it comes the meal of her dreams, her heart might belong to Japan. "My ideal meal would be sushi in Japan. I'm a really big fan of seafood in general, and all the time and effort the Japanese put into the presentation is amazing." And Caroline would definitely know - she's tasted and cooked all kinds of amazing seafood on her Tastemade show with Bonefish grill, including catching fresh lobsters and scallops, and eating them right at the source (did you know that scallops are fabulous raw?).  

But we can't live on over-the-top dining experiences alone! One of Caroline's favorite things to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner includes pretty much anything avocado. "I've become a big fan of avocados since moving to California - I love the taste, and all those healthy oils are fabulous for your hair and skin. Plus it makes a fabulous meal anytime of day or night!". If you pick up her book Beauty Foods (and you definitely should), you'll discover a lot of delicious ways to prepare avocado.  

You'll also discover some healthy recipes that are perfect for special occasions, including a chimichurri steak that is loaded with different tangy herbs and spices - "you could do a filet steak for date night or a big piece of brisket for a family meal".   

Like the team at Women's Forum, Caroline gives a lot of credit to the inspiring women in her life. She dedicated Beauty Foods to her mother, who was a salon owner and beautician, and was her inspiration on the path to combining beauty and cuisine. She also draws a ton of inspiration from fellow British author J.K. Rowling, who was a determined, passionate single mom who had the dedication to get her work done - and she didn't pretend everything was perfect, but rather she got things done and achieved so much in the face of adversity! 

We can't wait to see what Caroline does next. 

 

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