Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tips for a Healthy Green St. Patrick’s Day

This St. Patrick’s Day, instead of comparing only calories in a food, compare what your body gets back from that product. When grocery shopping for party or everyday snacks, avoid the snack aisles all together and hit the outer perimeter of the store for healthy snack options. Skip the chips and dips and serve sliced green veggies with hummus, kiwi and green apples with a yogurt dip, or peanut butter with celery for healthy, and festive, alternatives that match the day and your event’s theme.

Substitute the bread and use lettuce leaves to wrap finger sandwich ingredients in instead! Secure with a toothpick to cut back on calories and still celebrate with adorable green appetizers.

You can also try our famous very green kale and quinoa salad recipe – multiply the ingredients for a larger size that’s perfect for any St. Patty’s Day bash! Also, be sure to check out the Different Kind of Green Pinterest board for yummy green recipes and ideas, like roasted balsamic garlic broccoli or baked kale.

For healthy desserts, we offer sweet treats that are packed with green veggies, and taste divine! Our zucchini chocolate chip cookies are made with zucchini puree and give you all the satisfaction of a traditional chocolate chip cookie without the guilt. For an at-home version, try this recipe for zucchini carrot cookies.

Our super brownie mini muffins, also available in a gluten free option, are a delicious solution to a chocolate craving, and are packed with healthy ingredients, like our spinach puree base. Try making these avocado brownies at home for a do-it-yourself option.

The blueberry pistachio nubbler is also a tasty, all natural, fruity snack that actually pairs wonderfully with wine. All of these products are great dessert options that keep your taste buds happy and your body healthy, while adding a hint of of green to your St. Patrick’s Day.

There are plenty of ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by incorporating healthy, green foods into your diet, whether you want to substitute for unhealthy snacks, or detox after the celebration. Use these tips to put a spin on your St. Patrick’s Day, and celebrate with a different kind of green!

Healthy Regards,
Lisa Pounds

Connect wit us!
Twitter: @GPKitchen and @GreenPlateLisa
Instagram: @GreenPlateFoods
Facebook: GPF Facebook Page

Friday, October 11, 2013

Not All Calories Are Created Equally

When Is A Calorie Not Just A Calorie?
When you hear the word ‘calories’ do you immediately think of diets and weight loss?
Would you choose a food or turn down a food based on calories alone?                                                        

If so, you might be missing out on some quality options.

Making Every Bite Count
According to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the top five sources of energy (calories) in young children’s diets are grain desserts, pizza and soda.  “Nearly 40% of total calories consumed by 2-18 year olds were in the form of empty calories.”*

Children have such small space in their stomach but such high nutrition needs for growing that every bite they take counts.  When they fill up on foods and beverages that don’t give them any nutrients, their growth and development can be compromised. 
When adults eat foods that don’t keep them full and satisfied, they feel hungry sooner and often end up consuming two to three times what their bodies need. 

Not All Calories Are Created Equally

Instead of comparing only calories in a food, compare what your body gets back from that product.

For example, one glazed donut is about 250 calories.  It’s loaded with fat, saturated fat and trans fats.  The refined white flour, sugar, water and yeast won’t keep you full for long.
On the other hand, three Green Plate Kitchen banana chocolate chip muffins have about the same calories as the donut BUT you’d get over 10% of your daily fiber and iron recommendations and about 70% less fat.  The ingredients include whole wheat flour, real eggs, unsweetened applesauce and butternut squash puree…A list any parent and nutritionist would approve.

It’s time to stop judging food by calories alone and start asking “What am I getting back from this?”  If the food label and ingredient list offer nothing but refined flours, sugar and fat, put it back on the shelf and look for something else!

Choosing food with ingredients that nourish and fuel your family is the key to maintaining a healthy weight, feeling energized and more focused throughout the day.


by: Louise Goldberg RD, CSP, LD, CNSC for Green Plate Foods

Learn more about Green Plate Kitchen by visiting our website and our Facebook page.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Back To School with a Super Charged Lunchbox

It’s that time of year again to get your kids prepped up for another great year of learning! Now that you have all of your children’s school supplies, you've attend the “Teacher Meet and Greet”, you have fought the crowds in the mall to get all their back to school clothes, it’s finally time to plan for the most important  part of their school year -  Lunch! 

Did you know that the most sensitive organ in our bodies to chemicals and food allergies is the human brain? Most of us think it is the skin but it is the brain. With that being said, we have to take a hard look at what’s in our kids food.  

How to Build a Super Charged Lunchbox

The Lunchbox:

Children are more vulnerable than adults to harmful chemicals that are found in everyday objects that they touch all day. Picking a lunchbox that is free of chemicals is not only important for your children’s health but smart for the environment, too. There are many great options out there. I personally like the Laptop Lunchbox and Lunchbots.

Shopping For Success: 

When it comes to grocery shopping, I have one simple rule -  if you can't pronounce an ingredient, don’t buy it. I make this a game with my daughter to help teach her the importance of educating what we are eating. Some of the big offenders in 80% of our foods are artificial flavors and colors, Genetically Modified Foods (GMO), artificial preservatives, artificial sweeteners and large amounts of sodium. For a list of ingredients to avoid check out my "What's The Deal With Neon Blue Icing?" 

How to Build a Super Charged Lunchbox: 

When building a lunchbox is all about balance. Our fabulous nutritionist, Louise Goldberg with Apple a Day Nutrition Consulting, says that vegetables and fruits should always be present in their lunchbox. Even if you know they want eat the vegetables Louise says it is good to have it in there so you can teach them what a balance meal looks like. 

Louise also mentions in her blog to avoid giving sweets in the lunchbox, because they are going to go straight for that first rather than eating it at the end of their meal. Treat them every once in a while to a high quality chocolate kiss. 

Think Outside of the Bun!

You can’t go wrong with a sandwich, but there is so much more you can do. 
  • Forget the bun and wrap thin sliced carrots, cucumbers and lunch meet in lettuce. 
  • Use a tortilla instead of a bread. 
  • Soup is always a great way to sneak in vegetables. Use a thermos to keep it nice and warm. Leftovers can also be a godsend to reheat and use a thermos.  Also, it doesn't always have to be hot, my daughter loves pizza or pasta leftovers cold.
  • Pack a "bento" box or any container with 5 smaller "snack" type items for you little one to have a wide variety like I highlighted in a previous blog post: Back to School Snacks & Lunch Ideas.
  • We also Love our dietitian's recipe page for tasty and healthy ideas: An Apple a Day Nutrition Consulting Recipe Page.

Lettuce Sandwich Wrap


2 romaine leaves, washed and trimmed
2 teaspoons of mustard
1 carrot, shaved
1 cucumber, shaved
2 slices of turkey meat (nitrate + hormone free + low sodium)


Use a vegetable peeler to shave a handful of carrots and cucumbers. Lay out your washed romaine leaves and pat dry. Spread mustard on the lettuce. Layer the sandwich meat, carrots and cucumbers and roll up nice in tight.

Snacking Smart

Snacking is probably the hardest category to stay strong with good clean foods. There are multiple aisles in the grocery store dedicated to processed snacks that are directly marketed to kids. Try to avoid those as much as possible and hit the outer perimeter of the grocery store for good sources of snacks. 

Brain Power Snacks:

  • Cut up fruit and veggies in your fridge for quick and easy snacks. Vegetables can be paired with hummus and fruits go great with low sugar yogurt. Peanut butter goes great with celery and even apples. 
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Low Fat Plain Yogurt + Fresh Fruit +Honey + Cinnamon
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • We pride ourselves at Green Plate Kitchen to make nutritionally dense snacks, replacing oil and refined sugars with pureed veggies and fruit. Some of our most popular our are Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins packed with butternut squash and made with whole wheat flour and applesauce.
  • If you lucky enough to live in Houston, many of our snacks and healthy treats can be found at Whole Foods Market and HEB.  Check our locations page for an up to date listing.

Final Thoughts

Our children learn from us everyday by our attitude, actions and words, so it starts with us to be excited about clean eating. You are their role model!
If you have not already embraced clean healthy living, get excited and tell yourself "I can and I will" start to help my family live a cleaner + healthier life. 
You will not only positively impact your family and help prevent future preventative diseases, but you will arm them with powerful knowledge that they will be able to positively impact their friends and their future families. 

Happy + Healthy Eating!
Lisa Pounds
Follow us!
Instagram: @GreenPlateKitchen

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kale & Quinoa Salad

Kale + Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

Kale is considered one of the healthiest superfoods on the planet and quinoa is not too far behind it. Quinoa is one of the most protein rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids. It is high in fiber and rich in magnesium.

Kale contains an abundance of glucosinolate enzymes which stop cancer cells from becoming active and speeds up the removal of carcinogens from you system. Besides being a natural cancer fighter, it has many other benefits.


Our kale + quinoa salad is a weekly staple for me. It is crunchy, filling, full of flavor and packed with nutrients. The toasted walnuts and cranberries dance beautifully together with the hearty chopped kale and delicate bits of quinoa. The lemon vinaigrette dressing brings all of the flavors together and leaves me satisfied every time.

Kale + Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
Salad Ingredients:

  • Kale 1 large bushel
  • Quinoa (cooked) ¼ cup
  • Dried cranberries ½ cup
  • Chopped Walnuts 1/3 cup
  • Grated Parmesan ½ cup

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing:

  • Dijon Mustard 1 ½ tbsp
  • Lemon juice ½ cup
  • Garlic cloves 3 tbsp
  • Olive Oil 1 ¾ cup
  • Honey 1 ½ tbsp
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

To make the salad, remove the vain from the kale. Roughly chop the kale and place in a large bowl. Add in your cooled cooked quinoa, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and grated Parmesan cheese. Set aside and start on your dressing.

To make the dressing, in a separate bowl whisk together all the ingredients except the olive oil. Once you have everything at a nice consistency slowly drizzle in the oil until it is emulsified.
Drizzle the dressing on the salad and toss until everything is nicely coated.

Enjoy your new favorite dish!

If you live in Houston, you can order this salad directly from Green Plate Kitchen HERE and can find it on our Catering Menus as well! 

Happy and Healthy Eating,


Follow Us!
Instagram: @GreenPlateKitchen

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Top Foodie Mom 2013- Need your vote!

Hi Friends!

In the hustle and bustle of being a Mompreneur I have forgotten to register for the Circle of Moms 2013 Top Foodie Moms Contest! I am entering with a LONG shot to stay on this prestigious list!  I have many amazing plans to grow my business that is focused on providing healthy REAL food to children and families.  We are now expanding into some exciting retail spots (i.e. Whole Foods and HEB) and into Hospitals!  I am passionate about health education, and a regular advocate on the importance of eating healthy.  Hope you will stay tuned for many exciting plans, products and projects to come!

Appreciate your support!

Vote for Lisa's Green Plate Blog!

Lisa Pounds

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Natural Products Expo West 2013

I had the opportunity to travel to Anaheim, CA for my second Natural Products Expo West. It is one of the largest natural products food shows in the world. They packed in 63,000 attendees this year with some 2,400 exhibitors. I was an attendee again this year, there for meeting, searching for new suppliers, prospects, networking, education and LOTS of sampling and gawking at all the up and coming products, many not on the shelves yet. There were a plethora of all things raw, non-GMO, made with chia, half-popped popcorn, hormone free, soy free, dairy free, and probably the most interesting combination of ingredients were the all new "Protein" bars made with hormone-free meats and chocolate (and derivations of coconut, nuts or berries with bison, turkey jerky, etc.) Now I have seen it all! :-)

Me and My Dad! Team GPK!

So you can get a feel for the size of this event and the huge booths and set ups!:

Some of my favorite healthy snacks I tasted, some new, and some old favorites: Mary's Gone crackers, Go Raw products, Two Mom's in the Raw, Brad's Kale Chips and Onion Rings (yum! loved the Rings of fire if you like spicy!), Amazing Grass Green Superfood Bars (don't look at the inside and you'll be fine! they taste great, I just saw them in the supplement section at Whole Foods not the bar section). Cliff Bar and Kind had new versions out. And Amy's is coming out with knock-offs of milky ways, snickers, toffee bars that are AMAZING, coming out later this year. While not "healthy" they are good clean natural ingredients for that special occasion. Justin's Nut Butter remains one of my favorite brands, my daughter and I LOVE the hazelnut spread and go through a container every week or so, spreading it on toast and for dipping apples. Their peanut butter cups are to die for! I discovered NuttZo seven nut and seed butter at the show. Loved it! Awesome combos of nuts and seeds with crunchy and creamy versions of their original formula, a peanut free version and a chocolate one. The package them upside down so you don't have to stir them. Smart!

Lots of new dried fruit puffs, dehydrated fruit mixes, pouches in every flavor and mix of veggies and fruits, super grains, including the super grain of choice at the show "Chia!" Happy Baby has a ton of new pouch combos and flavors. Great assortment, wish all these were out when my daughter was a baby! I had the honor to meet Shazi Visram the founder of Happy Baby. What an inspiration to mompreneurs and product innovation. Little Duck Organics had some great snacks and cute multi-purpose green packaging with their Mighty Oats product, when you are done your little one can plant it in the garden with built in seeds. Cute! Another new favorite: Peas of Mind new Peas of Pie pizza, like real veggies actually baked into the pizza dough that you can see! And it tasted amazing! Find them at Target everywhere.

The hot new natural sweeteners you will be seeing everywhere: Coconut Sugar and Monkfruit (this was new to me, zero calorie is from the monk fruit and advertises that is does not have the "aftertaste" like stevia does. They say you can bake with it, 1 to 1. I love Big Tree Farms new dehydrated coconut! Just add to you glass of water for instant coconut water, saves tons of plastic bottles!! Plus they have amazing coconut sugars.

I am a big tea drinker, and have to mention my favorite new tea: Rooibiee Red Tea, made from the rooibos bush to be high in antioxidants and naturally caffeine-free. Love it and it is now available in most grocery stores.

Majority of the products are available at Whole Foods. We were excited to see Whole Foods announcement at the show that they plan to mandate all GMO-free products within 5 years. Great news for consumers! We are headed in the right direction, but have leaps and bounds to go! Go to your local grocery stores and request these and other natural products. They listen!

Happy and healthy shopping!

PS: Please make sure to follow Green Plate Kitchen and me on Twitter and Facebook!

Green Plate Kitchen on Facebook

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sneaking Veggies in Halloween Treats

I had the opportunity to be featured on Fox News in Houston yesterday, October 27, 2012. Several of the recipes I highlighted were on previous posts below, like the orange carrot juice icing recipe I highlighted from my blog post, What's the Deal with Neon Blue Icing, we featured this naturally dyed icing on top of our super brownies! Here is a link to the video segment:

The other recipe featured on the show, we served inside a pumpkin with black carrots sticking out like scary fingers!

Pumpkin-Seed Hummus

½ lb Dried baby chickpeas (soaked overnight) 

3 cups roasted pumpkin seeds (see recipe)
3 Cloves garlic, crushed 

¼ cup lemon juice 

1 cup tahini 

1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp paprika

Drain the chickpeas, then cover them with water and simmer until soft. Lightly season your mixture, then let it cool. Now drain the chickpeas again, preserving the liquid. In batches, puree the chickpeas, garlic, pumpkin seeds, lemon juice, and enough of that reserved liquid to spin it all, adding tahini once smooth. Adjust seasoning with paprika, salt, and lemon.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

3 cups raw pumpkin seeds, scooped from a pumpkin or bought at the grocery store
3 Tbsp kosher salt
1½ Tbsp olive oil
¾ tsp paprika
¾ tsp dried ginger powder
¾ tsp cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F. Fill a large pot with 8 cups of water. Add the pumpkin seeds and salt. Set the pot to boil over high heat. Bring the water to a rolling boil and allow it to boil for a moment. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the pumpkin seeds simmer for 10 minutes.

Our healthy snacks and treats, like the organic zucchini chocolate chip cookies, gluten free almond butter and strawberry mini muffins, super brownies and many others can all be purchased through Green Plate Kids. In you live in Houston, there are several retail locations that carry Green Plate Kids products, or you can simply order online and select to pick pick-up at one of our free pick up locations or delivery can be arranged. We also ship anywhere in the country!

Don't forget to check out our healthy treat suggestions for treats to give away on Halloween and if you are in Houston, come by Dr. Natalie Harrison's office to sell them your excess Halloween candy for a good cause!

Healthy Regards,
Lisa Pounds

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Happy Healthy Halloween!

Tick or Treat! Are your kiddos busy picking out their costumes while you are planning the many party festivities?

I love this amazing Halloween Freakynomics Infographic!

Some astonishing statistics about Halloween:
  • $2 billion dollars will be spent on candy
  • 9 billion kernels of candy corn will be made
  • 900 million pounds of pumpkins have been grown for Halloween
  • It’s predicted people will spend $370 million on pet costumes this year

I am a huge fan of Healthy Child Healthy World, they put out a great blog on how to Green your Halloween: Green Halloween Blog

Here is a super cute little recipe we have done for Halloween catering that the kiddos love:

  1. Remove any stringy fibers from the peeled banana, then cut it in half width-wise.
  2. Push a Popsicle stick into each half through the cut end, then cover each pop with plastic wrap and freeze until firm (about 3 hours).
  3. Next, place a 1.5-ounce piece of white chocolate candy in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high until melted (it generally takes about 1 minute).
  4. With a butter knife, spread the melted white chocolate on the frozen banana halves.
  5. Set the pops on a waxed-paper-covered dish. Press on candies or currants for eyes and mouths and return the pops to the freezer until ready to serve. Makes 2.

Candy or Special Treat ideas for Halloween without all the toxic ingredients

Pass out candy without all the harmful ingredients that taste just as good. Here are some candy alternatives that will make you a poster mom for your neighborhood’s health:

Healthy Child Healthy World's approved list includes: UNREAL™ Candy offers chocolate treats that taste remarkably similar to major commercial products but without artificial colors, dyes, sweeteners, preservatives, hydrogenated oils and GMOs. Plum™ Kids offers individually packed USDA organic Fruit & Veggie Shredz, which taste like Sour Punch Ropes.ClifKids USDA organic twisted fruit ropes are gluten-free and contain no processed sugars.Surf Sweets® offers a wide variety of gluten-free, organic gummies, sour bears and jelly beans.

Or I love the little pretzel bags and clementines are great also! So are fun stickers!!

In Houston, Green Plate Kids is sponsoring a candy buy back program with Dr. Natalie Harrison's office (She is a Pediatric Dentist). The candy they buy back at $1/lb. will go to Operation Gratitude supporting America's Troops and goes to care packages for them. What a neat way to get rid of that extra candy in your house and get your kids involved in doing something good for our troops! (Link to details on this event scheduled on Nov. 1st are on GPK's Facebook page and Dr. Harrison's website.)

Happy & Healthy Halloween!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What's the deal with neon blue icing?

What is the deal with bright neon blue, hot pink and brightly colored icing and frighteningly decorated and colored birthday cakes, cupcakes, yogurt, candy and even cereal? I get that it grabs our kids attention and is very enticing to them, but doesn't this scream hyperactivity, sugar high and fake artificiality to parents?? Well it should! I walk past these scary things at the grocery store and club stores and wonder who in their right mind buys these? Well I guess plenty of folks or they would not be making them!! To me it screams "Warning, this is so unnatural!"


In the NY Times Article on FDA Warning back in 2011, they finally concluded that yes there is a link to adverse affects of artificial ingredients! "The hearings signal that the growing list of studies suggesting a link between artificial colorings and behavioral changes in children has at least gotten regulators’ attention — and, for consumer advocates, that in itself is a victory."

In addition to avoiding artificial food dyes, lets all be reminded on some of the Top 10 Food additive ingredients to avoid in our diets on a regular basis: Top 10 Worst Food Additives from "GET REAL" and STOP Dieting!: Forget the Fads, Get the Facts and Feel Fabulous by Brett Blumenthal.
  1. Artificial Colors
  2. Artificial Flavorings
  3. Artifical Sweetners - (Acesulfame-K, Aspartame, Equal®, NutraSweet®, Sacharin, Sweet’n Low®, Sucralose, Splenda® & Sorbitol)
  4. Benzoate Perservatives (BHT, BHA, TBHQ)
  5. Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)
  6. High Fructose Corn (HFCS)
  7. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)
  8. Olestra
  9. Shortening, Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Palm, Soybean and others)
  10. Sodium Nitrite and Nitrate (Deli Meats!)
Read Full Article why they are used and why they are bad!

There is a way to have beautifully decorated and great tasting special treats that are not pumped full of harmful artificial dyes, preservatives and toxic chemicals!! Check out this Organic Food Coloring guide to try it yourself! And things dont have to be brightly colored to be tasty! There are so many wonderful and healthy muffins, cookies, bars and snacks avaliable to buy now or make them at home with your children! Be the change you want to see in your home and school. Try making your own banana chocolate chip muffins or almond butter and strawberry muffins mixed with veggies to bring to your child's next birthday party at school. If you live in Houston, TX, Green Plate Kids has natural snacks and desserts that are only made with natural ingredients you would make in your own home.

Happy and Healthy Eating Friends! Remember to read your labels and think twice before your or your child try that neon blue cupcake!

Healthy Regards,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Healthy Snacks for End of Summer & Back to School

Wow, can hardly believe the end of summer is in sight, sniff, sniff! Time to squeeze in any last minute vacations! And dare I say, start to think about back to school? Shopping for clothes, supplies and the dreaded packing of the school lunches and snacks! Yikes! Can be so overwhelming!

It doesn't have to be, and sometimes you just need to get out of your current habits and start trying some different things! They don't have to be super creative and fancy, but new combos, or presentation can make all the difference! Marketing works wonders on our kids too! :-) Amazing what putting something on a stick or adding some magical princess dipping sauce can do for some fruit or veggies! Just make sure that snacks are scheduled and not just offered on demand limitless times throughout the day or else those little guys won't be so inclined to eat that broccoli at dinnertime!

I was just featured on our local Houston TV news channel addressing healthy snacks, here is the short video segment:

The parfaits, and granola roll up recipes and pictures are listed on an earlier blog of mine on May 12, 2012.

Here is a good list of some other great snacks and ingredients to have on hand:

  1. Fruit
Ready-to-eat (apples, bananas, grapes, cherries, berries)
Sliced (oranges, kiwi, melon)
Dried (raisins, apricots, cranberries, figs)

Green Plate Kitchen Hummus with whole wheat pita and veggies

(Recipe Below)

2. Vegetables
Cut up with a favorite dip
Roasted and made into a dip
Raw slices on a sandwich (My daughter loves avocado and cucumbers on her Turkey sandwich!)

3. Nuts and Seeds
Toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
Raw or toasted peanuts, almonds or walnuts
Peanut, Almond, Sunflower butter or Hazelnut spread (Love Justin’s Brand) spread on bananas, celery or crackers (Make sure it does not contain HFCS!)

4. Yogurt, Milk and Cheese (Low fat versions for 2 years +)
Plain yogurt mixed with honey and vanilla
Yogurt and fruit smoothie
Cheese and crackers
Cottage cheese and sliced fruit or vegetables
Cheese stick

5. Meat, Eggs and Beans (Lean cuts and low fat versions are best)
Deli slices of turkey, ham or roast beef with crackers
Chili and crackers
Hard-boiled egg
Mini bean and cheese burrito

6. Grains (WHOLE Grains)
Animal crackers
Graham crackers
Mini bagels
Pasta, rice or potato “salad”

Green Plate Kitchen Hummus Recipe

Yield: 2 cups

15 oz. can Chickpeas
3 Tbsp Tahini Paste
⅓ cup Lemon Juice
¼ tsp Kosher Salt
¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
¼ tsp Paprika
2 tsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
2 tsp Olive Oil
¼ cup Water

Puree all ingredients in food processor until creamy and smooth.

Enjoy the end of summer and Happy and Healthy Snacking!!