Tastefully Healthy: Don’t Quit Now…A Quick And Easy Super Bowl Recipe

Angus Avocado Sliders

Angus Avocado Sliders

The Super Bowl is rapidly approaching marking the time of the year when many remaining New-Year-Resolution-making health nuts drop off the map. You know the time, when your body is achy from working out,  you don’t want to get out of bed and well, one more cookie won’t hurt right? My friends, I encourage you to put the cookie down, get out of bed, and remind your sore body why you decided to change your life in the first place. In my first post, I spoke on the ability to still enjoy eating but just make healthier, smarter choices about what you put in your mouth. Here’s a good question to ask yourself, “Is what I want to eat going to get me closer to my goal or further from it?” So now we have the Super Bowl with all its temptations. It’s making a lot of you nervous about cheating on your fresh “new-tritional” goals. You’re going to be surrounded by treats from burgers to cake to beer. Yes, beer is a treat! Remember, no matter what you eat on one day, you need to get right back to your clean nutrition the next. It is important to note that portion control is key. Having ONE burger during a game day party isn’t horrible. Having three, with chips, soda, cake, and whatever else you get your hands on, could be a problem. If you’re the chef for the big game, you may wonder, “How can I make party food that people won’t hate, because I chose to eat better…” Clean eating doesn’t always mean going straight to ground turkey all of the time. It can mean increasing the quality of the foods you eat. Ladies and gentleman I present to you my Angus Avocado Sliders. These little knockouts are made featuring sourdough bread topped with an avocado and orange bell pepper mash, covered with a 5-year aged Wisconsin cheddar. I am going to show you the basic ingredients I use but you can customize this recipe. These are easy to make in a short amount of time.

Angus Avocado Sliders

1 lb. Angus Beef

3 bell peppers (any color variety)

3  Avocados

1/4 lb. 5-year Aged Wisconsin Cheddar

1 loaf of Sourdough

1 lemon

1 – Season your meat accordingly and  form little patties no bigger than the palm of your hand. Cook until the internal temperature is above 165 degrees.

2 – Chop your bell peppers into little chunks; do the same with the avocado. Combine into a bowl and squeeze some lemon into it and slowly stir. The lemon will keep the avocado from turning brown. If you put too much lemon in and the taste is too strong, add a pinch of table salt and garlic powder.

3 –  Preheat your oven to 225 degrees. For your bread you can either toast lightly first or leave it plain. I chose sourdough because it is hearty and I didn’t want to toast everything first. Put the your bell pepper avocado combo on the bread, then add your meat and top it all off with a slice of cheese.

4 –  Put on a cookie sheet and pop them into the oven until the cheese melts.

5 –  Pull them out, plate them up and eat.

 Want to stay motivated? Want to learn about supplements, nutrition, health, weight lifting? Follow me on Instagram @zach_sws.

The fitness community is waiting for YOU. 

If you have a question, suggestion or feedback for Zach, please share it in the comments section.

The views, opinions and recommendations expressed by guest columnists are not necessarily those of AnotherAnnArbor.org.   “Tastefully Healthy” shares tips and information meant to be used in consultation with a health care professional. This information does not represent, or replace, medical advice.  

Tastefully Healthy: Tips For Your New Year New-trition

Food & Nutrition Enthusiast  Another Ann Arbor Contributor

Food & Nutrition Enthusiast
Another Ann Arbor Contributor

      The New Year creates in us a spark of hope that we will conquer our bad eating habits. For most of us, this spark flickers out on January 31st as we slyly slip into the drive-thru of our favorite fast food joint, hoping no one will remember our New Year’s Resolution posts on Facebook just 30 days prior.  No shaming here as I have done this countless times and after a while I had to consider why. One of the primary reasons was because fast food was cheap. Although hailing from California, the land of healthy alternatives, I found myself on more than one occasion succumbing to the temptation of the dollar cheeseburger. I reasoned that I had more money to put into my gas tank. Sometimes this was true, and sometimes it meant more cheeseburgers. Have no fear New Year hopefuls, as there are ways to keep money in your pocket and improve your nutrition.

    Before I begin, I need to correct a mindset. The first thing we think when hear the word “diet” is “what can I not eat?” Banish that mentality. I found that the key is to focus on what you can eat, and how to keep it interesting. This keeps your mind wanting to explore possibilities rather than focus on limitations.

   Today we start with snacks. I constantly snack. Before I started taking my nutrition seriously, I consumed copious amounts of doughnuts, candy, chips, soda, etc. I really didn’t consider it a problem until I started training and working out. What I was consuming was not giving me what I needed to perform and that frustrated me to no end.  If you keep the idea in your mind that what you eat will either get you closer to or farther from your goal, it will become much easier to watch what you put in your mouth.

Our snack of choice today is apple chips. Simple, yet versatile depending on how you want to flavor them or what you want to pair them with. Cinnamon and apples are a timeless choice so we will start there, but don’t hold back on experimenting with other seasonings like lemon peel, sage, and sea salt. Also keep in mind that these instructions are for an oven, since I do not own a food dehydrator yet.

Cinnamon Apple Chips

Prep Time: 5 min.

Cooking time: 1 ½- 2 hours

Apple on plate with kniveZach's Sliced ApplsZach's Apple Crisps

1)      Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees.

2)      Slice apple into thin slivers. Thin slices yield crunchier chips. Thicker slices give you apple chews. 

3)      Place apples on baking sheet

4)      Sprinkle with cinnamon.

5)      Place in oven and “bake” for 1 ½ – 2 hours.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cooling allows for the chips to get crunchy. Enjoy on their own or with some almond butter. Store leftovers in a plastic bag.

If you like what you’ve read, leave me a comment, suggest a food or nutrition topic, or share a nutritious recipe.  If you’re on Instagram, follow me at @zach_sws.


Another Ann Arbor introduces new Food & Nutrition Column

Tastefully Healthy


The statistics are clear: 57.6% of African American women are obese, 39.9-44.5% of African American adults have high blood pressure; and 14.6% of us are in poor health. While we can’t cure all the factors contributing to statistics like these, we can improve our personal health habits. In the spirit of that effort, we’re introducing “Tastefully Healthy”, our new food and nutrition column. Its written from the perspective of a foodie who likes to cook and eat good food, as well as research and study the history of healthy ingredients and spices.  

Meet Zach Van Buren, Food & Nutrition Enthusiast, Artist, and now… Another Ann Arbor Contributing Columnist!

Here’s Zach’s background, in his own words….

“I’m a student of life who, while researching ways to reach my own health and fitness goals, began helping others do the same. This California-hailing fitness enthusiast and foodie is constantly finding ways to make having a sound, nutritional life, as productive and enjoyable as possible.” -ZVB-

 Zach's Instagram full shot

Zach is on a path to improve his health this year. We welcome you on this journey.


Bright Nights-Support for Caregivers: Managing Behavioral Symptoms of Individuals with Dementia

Please join us for this Bright Nights community forum in Ann Arbor:

Tuesday, November 17, from 7:00-8:30 pm at the downtown Ann Arbor District Library

Support for Caregivers: Managing Behavioral Symptoms of Individuals with Dementia

Speaker: Helen C. Kales, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Program for Positive Aging at the University of Michigan and Research Investigator at the VA Center for Clinical Management Research

Panelists: Mary Blazek, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical School;

Cathleen Connell, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health;

Laura M. Struble, PhD, GNP-BC, Clinical Associate Professor and Program Lead, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner & Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs, Department of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, University of Michigan School of Nursing

These events are free of charge and open to the public. For more information, please visit the Depression Center website.

Sleep: Its Crucial For Mental Health

Community Forum on The Importance of Sleep  What’s the recommended amount of sleep you should get every night? Compare that to how much sleep you actually get. Are you crossing over into sleep deprivation or insomnia territory? If so, what’s the impact on your health? Are you leaving your brain as well as your body vulnerable to poor health? Come hear the experts explain the connection between sleep deprivation, depression and other mental illnesses. Learn how to get a better night’s sleep to improve your mood, and guard your mental and physical health.

Speaker: Deirdre Conroy, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Director, Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, University of Michigan

Panelists: Brian Pearson, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Clinical Director Still Waters Counseling; Kim Bryant, Assistant Director, Undergraduate Admissions, University of Michigan; Shelley Hershner, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology and Director, Collegiate Sleep Disorders Clinic, University of Michigan.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Liberty School Media Center

7265 Ann Arbor Street, Saline

Bright Nights

Women Working for Change: A Domestic Violence Forum

Program begins at 2:30pm

Program begins at 2:30pm

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival (last day)

Ypsi Heritage Fest logo

Sunday, August 23, 2015
Riverside Park, Ypsilanti, MI


Ypsilanti Heritage Festival 2015

Ypsi Heritage Fest logo



Saturday, August 22nd, 10:00am-8:30pm
Riverside Park, Ypsilanti, MI

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival

Ypsi Heritage Fest logo 







Ypsilanti Heritage Festival


Aug 21, 2015
Location: Riverside Park, 6 W Cross St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Spanning over three days, Ypsilanti Heritage Festival is a  community festival featuring arts & crafts,  live music, family activities and entertainment, historical presentations and demonstrations, and so much more. So come on down to Riverside Park and the surrounding areas to enjoy the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival from Friday, August 21- Sunday, August 23.

Photo Credit: Visit Ypsilanti

Article via Ann Arbor Convention & Visitors Bureau


Free HIV Testing during National HIV Testing Week

Free HIV Testing at Walgreens http://www.greaterthan.org/get-tested-with-Walgreens-and-greater-than-aids/

Free HIV Testing at Walgreens

In honor of National HIV Testing Day on Saturday, June 27th, Walgreens, local AIDS service organizations, and health departments are teaming up to offer free HIV testing. Four area Walgreens stores are participating in Flint, Royal Oak, Detroit and Ypsilanti. Testing will be available Thursday, June 25th and Friday, June 26th, from 3:00 pm -7:00 pm, and Saturday, June 27th, from 10:00 am -2:00 pm.


For more information on free year-round HIV testing or services for those living with HIV/AIDS contact:

HIV/AIDS Resource Center (HARC), University of Michigan HIV/AIDS Treatment Program, Infectious Disease Fellowship Clinic, Washtenaw County Public Health Clinic, or The Corner Health Clinic, in Ypsilanti.

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