Category Archives: Holistic Meals

Holistic Meals

The Most Important Supplement You Aren’t Taking

We welcome a new product into our office this week: Vital Proteins Gelatin and Collagen Peptides! This supplement is critical for many functions in the body, and the standard American diet leaves us COMPLETELY lacking.

So let’s learn about COLLAGEN and why it is so beneficial to your health. Collagen is the main protein structure in connective tissue in animals and humans. Collagen is found throughout the whole body including in bones, cartilage, skin, fascia, blood vessels, intervertebral discs, muscles, ligaments, tendons, the digestive tract and teeth. Collagen is composed of a variety of amino acids, but has higher amounts of glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Glycine is anti-inflammatory. It helps wound healing and can even improve sleep. Proline is essential for maintaining lean muscle mass and is helpful to building cartilage, maintaining healthy tight skin and healing injury. The amino acids found in the gelatin or collagen peptides can also improve gut health by increasing stomach acid, healing stomach ulcers, seals and heals the gut lining, and can help break down food more effectively.

Whole collagen protein is traditional beef gelatin. This whole protein will gel quickly in cold liquids. It can be used to make a variety of tasty foods and healthy candy alternatives. Collagen proteins takes longer to digest. This however allows for more water to be drawn to the digestive tract and allows for potentially more gut health benefits.

Collagen peptides are similar in amino acid profile, but the protein has been enzymatically hydrolyzed. This means that enzymes have broken down the whole protein into smaller parts. The peptides do not gel in liquids and are more quickly digested and absorbed. One of the great things about the Vital Protein Collagen Peptides is that it has such a neutral flavor that you can mix two scoops into your cold drinking water and you will hardly know there has been anything added to your water. You get all the great benefits of consuming collagen without the beefy taste.

Collagen is vital for building and maintaining healthy skin, hair, nails, bones, joints, lean muscle, intervertebral discs, ligaments, tendons, and digestive tract. Vital Proteins webpage states that

“Collagen helps to build and repair our bones, joint surfaces, skin, teeth, eyes, arteries, intervertebral disks, and much more. Collagen is needed to ensure a strong body and to help you to continually heal.”

Vital Protein Gelatin or Collagen Peptides is a great way to increase your protein intake especially while pregnant or for athletes. The collagen will provide your body with essential and conditionally essential amino acids that your body needs to perform and function better. For those with joint pain and arthritis, increasing your collagen intake can help support and strengthen bone, ligament and cartilage to reduce joint pain.

Vital Proteins provides pure grass-fed pasture raised collagen peptides and gelatin with no artificial ingredients or additives. Vital Proteins state:

“Our cows are pasture-raised on strictly grass-fed and finished diets and are not injected with any hormones as they are not milk generating herds. We naturally process the collagen through a water and enzymatically hydrolyzed process which helps break down the protein without losing nutrients or adding artificial substances. This ensures a purely finished product that is of the highest quality and standard.”

We now offer Vital Proteins Gelatin and Collagen Peptides locally at the office so that you can begin to experience the great health benefits!

More questions? Give us a call at 972-922-5493 or email to ask!

DFC Wellness Club’s Brussel Sprouts and Bacon Salad

In November our DFC Wellness Club topic was “Green Veggies, Yum!” For this class, we talked about five important vitamins and minerals that are found in green vegetables. After our parent/toddler mini lesson on these vitamins and minerals, our toddlers became Veggie Explorers! With their checklists and a fork, they rotated through five stations to taste-test different green vegetables. Would you believe it that one of the front runners for ‘favorite dish’ was my Brussel Sprouts and Bacon Salad? These kids (and their parents) wanted seconds, and even thirds! So in response to the request for the recipe, here it is! It’s simple and easy to adjust to what you have in the house!

Brussel Sprouts and Bacon Salad

4 cups of (raw) shredded or chopped brussel sprouts

1 pound of bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup of chopped, roasted or sautéed walnuts

2 tbsp lemon juice

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Chop the uncooked bacon into one-inch pieces (I use kitchen shears). Cook the bacon in a sautee pan on the stove. While your bacon is cooking, chop brussel sprouts and add the four cups of sprouts to a large bowl. The goal is to have the sprouts “shredded” or finely chopped as if creating a cole slaw dish. When the bacon is finished cooking, drain the bacon fat* into a bowl and separate from the bacon pieces. Return 1/4 cup of bacon fat to your pan, and add chopped walnuts (pecans taste great too!). After you’ve satueed the walnuts for 5 minutes or so, add the bacon pieces, walnuts, and bacon fat from the pan to the bowl of chopped brussel sprouts. In a small bowl, mix lemon juice (we’ve used fresh lime juice and orange juice as subsitutes also), salt, and pepper. Add this mixture to your large bowl, mix well, cover, and refridgerate for a few hours.

This makes four entree-sized servings, or eight side dish-sized servings.

* Bacon Fat – In our home, we are not afraid of using high quality cooking fats. We purchase our bacon from a local co-op or the Coppell Farmer’s Market; we know that it is pasture-raised, free of preservatives, and free of added sugars. if you are not currently purchasing high quality bacon, subsittute the 1/4 cup cooking fat with coconut oil, grass-fed gheegrass-fed tallow, or pasutred lard. And the next time you buy bacon, be sure to check the ingredients for preservatives and added sugars, or buy it from your local farmer!

Holistic Meals for the Family: Stuffed Sweet Potatoes


We are always looking for ways to power-pack our meals with nutrients. This meal is a winner. Nearly all of the ingredients are nutrient-rich foods! Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A and vitamin C, white beans are a great non-meat (and cheap!) source of protein, and a heaping scoop of kale and broccoli knock out two servings of dark green veggies, rich in a number of vitamins and minerals.

As always, the number one test of any of my recipes is how well the Dodge men like it! Dr. Dodge grew up with a pretty unadventurous diet and definitely loves a basic meal of roast chicken, quinoa and broccoli. Though our three year old doesn’t eat gluten, soy, or dairy, he still has obvious preferences – he adores bacon and simply won’t eat beets anymore! Both of these guys inhale this meal, so I know it’s a keeper!


4 large sweet potatoes

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 cloves of garlic

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1.5 cups (or one can) cooked great northern white beans

1.5 cups diced broccoli

2 cups/1 bunch kale

2 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste


Cook sweet potatoes – I like to bake them in the oven at 400°F for 1 hour, with a few holes poked in the skin. When the potatoes are 15-20 minutes from being done, start the stuffing. In a deep skillet, add coconut oil and pressed garlic, sautee garlic for a few minutes. Add red pepper flakes and broccoli, sautee for five minutes. Add beans and kale, sautee for another 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add 1-1 1/2 cup of kale, broccoli, and bean stuffing to each sweet potato, and enjoy!

Five Tips to Maximize Your Smoothies

Summer is here already, and it is a great time to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your family’s diet! Around the Dodge house, we’ve made it a goal to make more smoothies to kick start our day with a nutrient-rich drink! Here are five simple tips to help you get more out of your smoothies!

  1. Green Smarter – Save time and money with a few simple tricks. Especially if you are a CSA member or have a great local Farmer’s Market, buying greens in their growing season will give you the best prices. You can save these extra greens a few ways! If you have a dehydrator or if your oven has a low setting, you can dry your greens and toss them in the food processor to create your own “greens powder.” Store in an air-tight glass container and scoop dried greens into your smoothies! Secondly, save and freeze greens you used to discard – carrot top greens, strawberry stems, broccoli leaves? Keep them and toss them in when you are low on other greens!
  2. Prep Your Powerfoods – Prep your seeds and nuts in a food processor ahead of time. Almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp protein, and spirulina are some of our favorites. If you want a mix of these in each smoothie, mix up a big batch for easy daily use! Simply add a tablespoon or two to your blender after you’ve added the liquid. You’ll end up adding these high quality nutrients more often in if they are easy to reach for!
  3. Balance Your Smoothies –something sweet, something green, something powerful! While a four-fruit smoothie may taste great, it is a missed opportunity to amp up your diet with extra greens and powerfoods. Bananas, mangos, and pears have strong and sweet flavors, and can stand up to strong flavored greens. Always add in something green – collard greens, kale, and spinach are all easy to find options! Be intentional about adding something with power – add hemp for protein, avocado for healthy fats, flax seeds for omega fatty acids, parsley for digestion and detoxing.
  4. Step Up the Liquid – It’s common to add water or ice, which is simple and perfectly fine! For an even more nutritious smoothie though, add your made-at-home almond milkor coconut milk, or plain coconut water! Each of these alternatives have their own nutrient benefits, including vitamins and minerals in their natural form.
  5. Save Leftovers – Make a smoothie pudding with the leftovers by adding a tablespoon of chia seeds per ½ cup. Freeze leftovers in ice cube trays, add back to future smoothies or enjoy a small frozen treat! Make popsicles with a popsicle mold! Make fruit leather (with non-dairy smoothies) – smooth out on a silicone mat in the oven at 200 degrees, or keep it living and dehydrate fruit leather at 115 degrees! Stretch those smoothie leftovers to get more out of your efforts!


Smoothie Recipe Round Up

Here’s a few great smoothie recipes for you to try! 

  1. Green Ginger Peach
  2. Avocado Pear
  3. Kale Pineapple
  4. Berry Chia
  5. Greens and Parsley


What is your family’s favorite smoothie combination? What powerfoods do you love to add? 

Holistic Meals for the Family: Veggie and Bacon Mini Frittatas

Another recipe from the Doc’s wife!

I am not the best about making and eating nutritious, good breakfasts for myself. I got into the habit of just making our son’s eggs or quinoa breakfast, and not making anything for myself until lunch. In an effort to reform that and make something the Doc would enjoy too, I experimented with making mini frittatas, and have worked out a little recipe along the way! Now, in our home, we call these “egg cups” because that is what our 2.5 year old wants to call them. But Fancy Nancy would call them mini frittatas, I think. So let’s call them that.

Veggie and Bacon Mini Frittatas



1 medium onion, diced

2 cups of broccoli, diced

2 cups of kale (or spinach), chopped

1 pound of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces while uncooked

16-18 large eggs

1/4 tsp salt, optional

1/8 tsp pepper, optional

1 1/2 cup shredded cheese, optional

cupcake/muffin liners


Makes about 18 servings



Cut bacon strips into 1/2 inch pieces – kitchen shears make this simple. Fry bacon until crispy and set aside. Strain bacon fat into a mason jar, and return about 1/3 cup back to your sautee pan. (Yes! I am a bacon fat user and saver. The pastured pork that we use is  worth it, but not cheap. I intend to use all of its “beyond organic” goodness! In a balanced, nutritious diet, Dr. Dodge and I “heart bacon” just like the Holistic Squid. If saving bacon fat isn’t your thing, I suggest a high quality coconut oil.) To the bacon fat, add your diced onion and broccoli and sautee till tender. Add kale when the onions and broccoli are almost done. Toss bacon pieces back in and turn off the heat. I use a full muffin tin and a half tin, because that’s what I have. This will make about 18 servings. if you want a dozen, back off the broccoli, kale, and eggs a bit.

Line the muffin tins with cupcake liners – I like these unbleached liners can find at Market Street. Add about 1/4 cup of the veggie and bacon mixture to each cup. Add whisked eggs to fill about 4/5ths of the liners. Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 20 minutes.

I don’t add salt and pepper – each ingredient is very flavorful. But add it if you want! I also don’t add cheese, but would during pregancy to bulk up the protein count!

To store for a week’s worth of breakfast, we place them in a shallow glass dish, cover them, and keep them in the fridge! You could certainly wrap them in aluminum foil and freeze them individually as well. Pop them back in the oven or toaster oven in the morning, and you are all set! Enjoy!

Holistic Meals for the Family: Paleo Meatloaf


This is one of Dr. Dodge’s favorites! Since we do our best to stay clear of gluten and dairy, Paleo meals are a great option. With the beef, eggs, and almond meal, this makes for a high protein meal! We leave the ketchup out because our son reacts to it, but Sprouts right here in Coppell carries an organic ketchup if you want to include it. We use Bragg’s liquid aminosinstead of worchestire sauce – it is salt, GMO, and preservative free.


1 lb of grass-fed ground beef

1 onion, diced

3/4 cup almond meal

2 eggs

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp Braggs liquid aminos


1/3 cup ketchup

Combine all ingredients. Place in a rectangular baking tray, bake at 350 degrees Farhenheit for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Serves: 4

Holistic Meals for the Family: Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Hi all! When Daniel brought the huge bowl back EMPTY from his Coppell Senior and Community Center wellness talk last week, I was floored! I was sure that there’d be a good portion left over! He said that they had loved it, that so many people asked for the recipe, and that we definitely had to share it on the blog! So, as requested, here is the Quinoa and Black Bean Salad that Dr. Dodge brought for lunch last week!

For those of you who didn’t attend the talk, Dr. Dodge discussed the benefits of eating high quality carbohydrates, proteins, and vegetables, and- this recipe gives you a bit of all of those. You can read his talk in the previous blog post. This recipe can also easily be adapted for your preferences!

The original recipe is from – I’ve made a few tiny changes based on convenience and preference.


Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Prep and Cook Time: 30 min, plus time for quinoa to cool

Serves: 4-6

1 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 ears fresh corn, sliced off the cob

1/2 cup green peppers, diced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped



5 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1 1/4 tsp cumin

1/3 cup olive oil


Rinse quinoa seeds well before cooking. Cook with a 1:2 quinoa to water recipe, so cook 1 1/2 cups of dried quinoa with 3 cups of water. There are many methods of cooking quinoa, but I am happy with just boiling the quinoa and water together, then letting it simmer for 10 minutes or so. While the quinoa is cooking, add beans, corn, pepper, cilantro and vinegar and mix. After the quinoa has cooled, combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, salt, cumin. Slowly add the olive oil, continuing to whisk. Incorporate dressing to salad, add salt and pepper to taste (I add a good bit of pepper, maybe 1/4 tsp).

Salad can be served cold or at room temperature.

This is a versatile recipe, as you can change ratios and add any ingredients you like! Add halved cherry tomatoes, different types of peppers, cucumber, avocado…yum!


Cold quinoa salads are pretty popular – how do you make yours? Share recipes and ideas with us please!

Holistic Meals for the Family: Lentil Soup

It can be really tough to make healthy, tasty food for your family. Add in the importance of eating as organic as possible, and it can be expensive, too! Through our “Holistic Meals for the Family” series, we’ll share some of our family’s “frugal” recipes and ideas, and give you a little background on some of those special healthy ingredients you might not be familiar with. First up: LENTILS!

What are lentils?

Lentils are a type of legume, like dried beans. What we buy in the store to cook and eat are the dried seeds of the lentil plant, which come in little one- or two-seed pods.

They are small, so they cook pretty quickly. They also absorb flavor quite well, so they can be very versatile!


Why are lentils good for us?

Lentils are tiny but mighty legumes. For only about 230 calories per cup, they pack a ton of nutrients. Check out their nutritional contents here.

Lentils are an excellent source of both insoluble and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps your body get rid of cholesterol-containing bile, and insoluble fiber is excellent for overall digestive health. The fiber in lentils helps them act as a slow burning carbohydrate, which helps stabilize blood sugar. Lentils are especially healthy for people with blood sugar related conditions. The high folate and magnesium content in lentils makes them a particularly “heart healthy” food as well. Lentils are also a good source of iron, which is especially important for pregnant and nursing mothers. To top it off, lentils contain less than a gram of fat per cup! As far as we see it, these little legumes can’t do wrong! However, if you avoid high-purine foods, be aware that lentils do naturally contain a moderately high level of purines.

For more information, read The World’s Healthiest Foods article on Lentils.


Where do I get them, and what do I buy?

You can find lentils prepackaged in most grocery stores with the dried beans and rices. You may also be able to find them in the bulk foods sections – Sprouts right here in Coppell carries lots of varieties at great prices. We get our organic lentils in the bulk foods section of Whole Foods. I’ve also found the Arrow Head Mills organic green lentils locally, at Market Street. We recommend buying the dried variety and cooking them yourself, rather than the canned option. This just brings you closer to eating less-processed foods, and avoids the potential for BPA-lined cans.


How do I cook them?

If cooking plain lentils, use a 1 cup of lentils to 3 cups of liquid (stock or water) ratio. You can bring the liquid to a boil with the lentils already added, or boil the water first, then add lentils. Either way, once the liquid and lentil combination is boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Green and brown lentils take right about 30 minutes, sometimes longer. Smaller, thinner lentils like red and orange lentils may be ready in 20 minutes. For recipes that call for cooked lentils, like a cold lentil salad, taking the lentils out a little “al dente” is usually preferred.


Recipe: Lentil Soup

I certainly don’t claim to be an excellent cook, but my two taste-testers, Dr. Dodge and little Charlie, are big fans of my lentil soup. It is pretty simple flavor-wise, so I think it is a great introduction to lentils. If you try it and hate it, don’t give up on lentils! There are lots of great recipes out there – I’ve linked a few at the end for you to check out! I also won’t add “organic” in front of every ingredient, but you can easily find all of these ingredients in their organic variety in the grocery store! We’ll post more in the future on the importance of eating organic and local!


Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour

Serves: 8-10

¼ cup olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)

2 cups diced carrots

1 ½ cups diced celery

1 ½ cups diced onion

2 cups dried green lentils (if you use a different type, read the instructions for cook time)

6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)

1 tsp salt (I highly recommend pink Himalayan sea salt – it is delicious!)

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp thyme

There are lots of ways to jazz this up – I’ve added fennel, local sausage and bacon from Livestock First Ranch…add what sounds good!

Add olive oil, garlic, carrots, onion, and celery to a large sauce pan. Sautee (medium low – medium) until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Add lentils, stir to coat. Add chicken stock, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Let simmer for 30-40 minutes, until lentils are tender. Add stock, salt, and pepper to preference. Enjoy!


Yummy-Looking Recipes to Try:

Curried Lentil Soup from Oh She Glows

Mediterranean Lentil Salad from Elly Says Opa

Moroccan Chicken and Lentils from Epicurious



Please share your experiences with lentils! Do you have any great recipes we should try?