Why You Should Be Eating More Vegetables

We love vegetables, in fact, we love them so much that we’ve made it our mission to source high quality organic vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits for each of our meals. We understand that there are many health benefits you can take advantage of by simply incorporating more vegetables and researchers have our backs. Here are some of the health benefits of eating more than seven servings of veggies a day:

1. Eating seven or more portions of fruits and vegetables a day can help reduce your risk of death at any point in time by 42 percent.

2. Eating seven or more portions of veggies can reduce your risk of death by cancer by about 25 percent.

3. Consuming seven or more portions of veggies each day can also reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by 31 percent.

So, it’s safe to say that the more veggies you eat, the better off you are. However, when all is said and done, you’re the one preparing your own meals and you may not have the time to cook a veggie-filled dish. Thankfully, our meals only take minutes to cook making it easy to get a quick fix of gourmet veggies when you’re on the go!

Source: http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2014/04/01/Forget-strive-for-5-eat-7-of-more-servings-of-fruit-and-vegetables-a-day/5471396362823/#ixzz2y9xi7DQt

Image courtesy of Foodcuate.com



Thanksgiving Contest

Artisan Bistro wants to know what you’re thankful for this holiday season. Snap a picture of your favorite person, place or activity and submit it to the contest page before November 18. After uploading your photo encourage your friends and family to vote for your picture during the voting period of November 18 -26. The winner will receive 12 free Artisan Bistro meals of their choice!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER: http://woobox.com/6aixp3

rsz_1ab_thanksgiving_giveaway (1)


The Shocking Truth About Food Waste


When you sit down at the dinner table tonight, look at the meal on your plate. Next, I want you to take 40% (almost half) of the food on your plate and go throw it away in the garbage can. Just slide most of your freshly cooked meal that you worked so hard to prepare right into the trash.

Many of you might be thinking, “Why would I ever do that? It is such a waste of food.”

Unfortunately, that is exactly what the United States does each year. Nearly 40% of food each year in this county goes uneaten. That is an astonishing 20 pounds of food per person each month. With such a large about amount of food being wasted each month, reducing our food waste by just 15% we would be able to feed 25 more million Americans each year. That could potential end hunger in the United States.

By shopping responsibly we can all join in helping to reduce food waste in this county.

At The Food Collective we are trying to do our part in reducing food waste. Helen’s Kitchen and Artisan Bistro meals are carefully proportioned single-serving meals that can be stored in the freezer until they are ready to be eaten. They are a perfect solution to prevent food waste because they can stay fresh in the freezer instead of degenerating in a refrigerator or the open air.

Landfills full of rotten food products accounts for 16% of our country’s methane emissions. By being more responsible about our food waste, we can drastically improve our environment.

Not only are our meals helping to reduce waste, but our packaging is as well. The boxes and food trays that our entrées are served in are 100% recyclable. This helps reduce our company’s carbon footprint and makes for a cleaner environment.

Join us by playing your part in reducing food waste and your carbon footprint by shopping responsibly and recycling your products.  By checking expiration dates, saving and eating your leftovers and being a smart shopper can play a big part in helping end food waste in the United States.

Remember don’t fork over your food to the landfill.

Source: http://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-ip.pdf

Photo Credit:  Mark Turnauckas


Artisan Bistro Staying Gluten-Free on the Go

Each celiac and gluten sensitive individual knows that it is no easy task eating gluten-free all of the time. Unfortunately, many don’t have a choice, but to completely avoid gluten. This can be especially challenging on busy days or for someone who is constantly “on the go.”  Since picking up fast food, grabbing a quick sandwich or even eating a casual restaurant can often be out of the question for someone with gluten sensitivity, Artisan Bistro is proud to offer a solution to this problem.

All Artisan Bistro meals are gluten and soy free offering quick, easy and healthy meal solutions for those suffering from celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Whether you are “on the go” or in need of a fast meal at work, all you need to do to stay gluten-free is find a microwave.  Within a matter of minutes you will have a fully cooked gluten-free meal made with organic and all-natural ingredients that is of high Artisan quality.

Artisan Bistro takes pride in being able to say that our products have always contained less than 20 parts per million of gluten, which means we are categorized in the FDA’s new “gluten-free” labeling of containing less than 20 parts per million of gluten.

Our meals are an excellent way to stay happy, healthy and gluten-free when you’re on the go or in a time crunch. If you haven’t tried one of our high quality meals yet, you are missing out. They can change your life.


How To Read Package Labels


The labeling on food packaging is strictly enforced by the U.S Food and Drug Administration. Food manufactures must be able to support the claims on each packaging or they will be penalized by the FDA and be forced to remove the labeling. While some labeling on the food packaging may be clear, others can be hard to interpret. So we put together a guide below on what each label exactly means.

Free-Range Certification

In order for packaging to have a free-range chicken label, the company must have purchased the chicken from a producer who is able to demonstrate that their chickens have free continuous access to the outdoors for more than half of their lives.

Grass-Fed Meat Label

To be able to display a grass-fed meat label, the USDA must approve the producer. The animals must be raised on a pasture or range where they can feed on a diet of grass and plants. These animals must not be fed grain or receive hormones or antibiotic treatments of any kind.

Gluten-Free Labeling

For a package to have the gluten-free labeling, the ingredients must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. The FDA chose 20 parts per million because most celiac could consume food with 20ppm of gluten without having any major symptoms.

Sustainable Seasfood

Wikipedia defines it as “Seafood that is either caught in ways that consider the long-term vitality of harvested species and the well-being of the oceans.” Many products using sustainable seafood will be marked with a label on the box informing the consumer that the fish was caught wild using sustainable fishing tactics.

All Natural

To display the “all natural” means the mean contains no artificial ingredients or added colors and is only minimally processed.


5 Reasons To Eat Brown Rice


Rice is the most consumed food in the world, and it is a staple food in numerous countries around the world. Brown rice is the “unrefined” version of white rice meaning that brown rice still has the side hull and bran. When brown rice is polished into white rice it loses many key nutrients in the refining process. Brown rice is associated with a myriad of health benefits. Below are the top five reasons why you should make the switch to brown rice:

1.It’s high in fiber. Just one cup of brown rice gives you 14% of the daily recommended value for fiber. Studies have shown that fiber helps prevent colon cancer and can reduce the chances of heart disease.

2.It can help lower your cholesterol. The oil in brown rice helps to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol (bad stuff) and helps increase the levels of HDL cholesterol (good stuff). Some studies show that it recedes bad cholesterol to up 7 percent.

3.Brown rice is packed with manganese and selenium. Just one cup of brown rice contains 88 percent of your daily recommend value manganese as well as 27 perfect of daily recommended value of selenium. Selenium helps fight off cancer and keeps your immune system running properly.

4.Brown rice is low on the glycemic index meaning that it won’t produce a rapid spike in your blood sugar as compared to white rice. This is especially beneficial to those with diabetes.

5.Brown rice is a great source of phytonutrients, which are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients that are often founds in plants.


7 Super Foods You Cannot Live Without


Benefits of Eating Green Beans


Greens beans are a food that you either loved or hated as a little kid. There are probably four different ways you experimented with eating it when you were younger. You may possibly have eaten just the beans on the inside, splitting the seam down the middle, or maybe you just ate it whole like a grown-up. Your parents did have a good reason for putting that strange food on your plate as a child; they piled those green beans on your dish because they were good for you! Surprisingly, green beans are associated with a myriad of health benefits, which is why they can be found in many Artisan Bistro meals.

  • Green beans are an extremely abundant source of dietary fiber. It is important to have enough fiber in your system because it helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and helps control blood sugar levels.
  • They contains high levels of Vitamins A or Beta Carotene, which is a natural antioxidant. It helps enhance the immune system by promoting white blood cell activity. It is also good for the body’s health, skin and improves your vision.
  • Half a cup of green beans contains only 15 calories and 2 grams of carbohydrates. Since it is jam- packed with fiber, it helps to keep you feeling full.
  • One serving of green beans provides a quarter of the daily requirement of vitamin K, which is needed to keep your bones strong and healthy.
  • Your body needs minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Without it your body would not function properly. Luckily, these magic beans contain all of these essential minerals that keep your metabolism functioning at an optimal level.

Green beans are an excellent vegetable that you can consume almost daily and with thousands of ways to use this veggie it would be difficult to tire of them. Some popular ways to cook the vegetables are boiling, blanching, steaming and they can even be cooked in the microwave.

Photo Credit: cbertel


We Should All Be Eating More Quinoa

Quinoa pronounced “KEEN-wah” has been a growing trend in the North America over the past few years. The sudden spike in popularity can be attributed to people becoming more conscious about the food that they put into their body. Quinoa is a great alternative for people who tend to stay away from eating grains and those who are watching their diets. Vegetarians are always attracted to quinoa because it contains the highest protein content amongst all grains. It also contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein. Not only are people with gluten sensitivity able to eat it, but it is almost always organic and kosher as well.  This is one of the reasons why Artisan Bistro has five meals that contain quinoa in our ingredients. Quinoa also provides a wide variety of health benefits as well.

Here are 6 great reasons for making quinoa part of your diet:

  1. High in protein.
  2. Contains riboflavin or B2 vitamin, which helps increase your metabolism energy within the brain and muscle cells.
  3. Quinoa is low on the glycemic index, which means it won’t spike your blood glucose levels.
  4. It contains almost twice as much fiber as other grains.
  5. Quinoa is high in magnesium and iron. These nutrients help our red blood cells as well as help promote health nerve impulses.
  6. It contains lysine, which is crucial for tissue repair and growth.

Prepare quinoa is the same way you would prepare and cook rice. If you are using a rice cooker, place one part quinoa to two parts water. Allow it cook for ten to fifteen minutes. Quinoa cooks at a much fast rate than other whole grains. Alternatively, you can cover quinoa with water or vegetable broth in a pot and broil it until it’s soft, but make sure to keep an eye on it since it can cook quickly.

One cup of Quinoa contains 223 calories, 3.6g of fat, and 39g of carbs and 8g of protein.


Five Healthy Fall Food Choices

With Labor Day marking the unofficial end of summer, we slowly start to creep into another fall season. Before we know it, the weather will start to cool as the leaves start to turn colors. For most of us, we will be changing the time on our clocks again.

Not only does the weather start to change as fall approaches, but so does the variety of foods we eat. Below I have listed five healthy food choices for the fall season:


Kale is often referred to as a “Super Food” and it has good reason to be named that. This leafy green plant is packed with Vitamin K and offers more of it than any other green food. It also is high in beta-carotene, an anti-oxidant that is believed to help fight off cancer. Kale has a crisp and refreshing taste to it.  Homemade kale chips are tasty snack that is easy to make.


Those pretty red fruits that you see hanging from tress are filled with beautiful ruby red seeds that are packed with antioxidants. They are also bursting with a compound called tannins that helps lower bad cholesterol.  Pomegranates also contain vitamins A, C and E as well as folic acid. Each pomegranate seed is filled with an antioxidant called” flavonoids,” which is believed by many to help fight off cancer-causing agents.


Apples are in their prime during the fall season, and they are packed with powerful anti-oxidants. Remember, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But don’t peel off the apple skin because that’s where a majority of the anti-oxidants are stored. Make sure to buy organic apples to avoid pesticide residue on the skin. Apples are also a great source of vitamin C.


Who knew that they were good for more than carving jack-0-lanterns and making pumpkin pie? Pumpkins are packed with potassium and contain a decent amount of vitamin A. When making jack-o-lanterns, save the seeds. You can clean them and put them on a baking sheet to throw in the oven. Those little seeds pack quite a punch. They are loaded with tons of mineral including phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron and copper. Not to mention they are also high in zinc, vitamin K, B. A 100g of seeds provide a whopping 30 grams of protein.


These nuts are loaded up with half your daily supplement of vitamin B, which keeps your skin looking radiant and helps your immune system fight of disease. They are also high in fiber, but be careful because they are loaded with carbohydrates as well.