AMBA’s May Recipe: Mediterranean-Style Salmon Burgers

Everybody loves a good burger, right? They’re delicious and can satiate even the biggest appetite. However, the trans-fats and high calories of traditional burgers have significant health concerns. No worries! AMBA has a fresh beef-free spin on this family favorite that delivers juicy flavors and heart-healthy omega fats and protein.

These salmon burgers will surely be a crowd-pleaser at the dinner table or a weekend get-together. You can serve them on a bun with arugula, tomatoes, onions, and Tzatziki sauce. Or, for a low-carb option, serve them on a bed of lettuce and sliced seasonal vegetables dressed with lemon and olive oil.


  • 1½ lb. skinless salmon fillet
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 tbsp minced green onion
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground sumac
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • A dash of kosher salt
  • One lemon

Directions to Make Mediterranean-Style Salmon Burgers

1) Cut salmon into bite-sized chunks. Place about ¼ of the salmon in the bowl of a large food processor. Add the Dijon mustard and run the processor until the mixture is pasty. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

2) Place the remaining salmon in the food processor. Pulse a couple of times until it’s coarsely chopped into ¼-inch pieces. Be sure to maintain some texture without getting pasty. Add the finely processed salmon to the bowl.

3) Add the minced green onions and chopped parsley to the bowl—season with coriander, sumac, paprika, and black pepper. Add the kosher salt and mix until combined. Cover and chill for approximately 30 minutes.

4) As the salmon chills, slice a tomato and red onion. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and a plate with paper towels.

5) Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on a plate. Divide the chilled salmon mixture into four equal portions and form into 1-inch-thick patties. Place each patty in the breadcrumbs and press to coat on each side. Place the breaded salmon patties on the lined sheet pan.

6) Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high. Lower each of the patties into the hot oil. Cook until lightly browned on the bottom, then flip. Cook for about 4 minutes or until the patty is medium-rare and lightly browned on both sides. Adjust heat as necessary during cooking.

7) Set cooked salmon burgers onto the paper towel-lined plate to drain. Sprinkle lightly with salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Spread with a bit of tzatziki sauce.

8) Layer on the arugula, tomato, and onion slices. Enjoy!

Why Emergency Medical Transportation Can Be So Expensive and How You Can Protect Yourself

People who have needed an ambulance frequently ask the same question when they receive the bill: “How is the cost of the ambulance so expensive?” Why should a short ride to a nearby hospital cost significantly more than an Uber ride? The reason is simple: an Uber ride only needs to get a passenger to their location. On the other hand, an ambulance ride is designed to provide vital assistance to someone experiencing a medical emergency and deliver them to the hospital. AMBA can help you understand why medical transportation can be so expensive and how to help avoid paying this out of your own pocket.

Labor, Training, Readiness, and Equipment

Emergency medical teams need hands-on experience in dealing with emergencies. In addition to the cost of training Emergency Medical Services personnel, having at least two people for every patient in an ambulance is often necessary.

People who receive ambulance transportation pay for the services they receive and the cost of making ambulances readily available.

All equipment and staff must also meet local and state regulatory requirements. The cost of this maintenance rapidly adds up. Treatment equipment to stabilize the trauma patient before reaching the hospital can include emergency ventilators, stretchers, cardiac monitors, infusion pumps, nebulizer machines, oxygen, and more.

What if the patient receives no additional care during the ambulance ride? Unfortunately, these services frequently don’t itemize the care or medications a patient may receive during an ambulance ride. Patients are charged for one of two types of care: essential life support or advanced life support.

In fact, the ride is the least expensive part of an ambulance trip. The mileage charge generally makes up the most minor portion of the final bill.

No matter the financial cost, the priority is to get trauma patients to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible. An Uber ride is no substitute for the care an experienced EMS team with vital, life-saving equipment can provide.

AMBA Can Help Protect You from the Cost of Emergency Medical Transportation

NCRGEA and AMBA can protect your savings with a Medical Air Services Association (MASA) plan. MASA provides lifesaving emergency transportation services. Services are paid in full, with no deductibles, co-pays, or dollar limits. MASA covers your ambulance or airlift in all 50 states and Canada, regardless of your age or medical condition.

Your care is the most important thing in a medical emergency. You can make the cost worry-free by signing up today. NCRGEA and AMBA make getting MASA easy. You can even sign up online. Learn more at or call 800-956-1228 Mon.-Fri 9am-6pm ET.

The Negative Effects of Too Much Screen Time on Vision – and Overall – Health

How much time do you spend each day looking at a digital screen? You might be surprised by how much time is spent looking at a computer screen, television, phone, or tablet. What might also surprise you is how far we exceed the recommended hours. AMBA is here to provide the information you need and help you care for your eyes and overall health.

Why Excessive Screen Time Can Affect Your Vision

Our eyes need to focus and move more when looking at screens. As a result, screen usage can contribute to eye health issues. Additionally, the constant exposure to blue light, standard in many digital devices, can make our eyes extremely sensitive to light.

Digital eye strain symptoms (computer vision syndrome) include mild discomfort, dryness, and irritation. But more severe issues can also occur:

  • Eye fatigue can cause double vision and concentration difficulties.
  • Decreased focus flexibility can impact your ability to adjust your sight to see at all distances.
  • Prolonged exposure to LEDs can cause irreversible loss of retinal cells and may lead to a loss in vision sharpness.
  • Although it’s rare for nearsightedness to get worse as we age, there are exceptions.

Our vision’s health also plays a significant role in our overall health. Additional issues excessive screen time can cause include headaches, brain fog, and sleep-related issues, including insomnia.

How You Can Protect Your Eyes

You can take steps to protect your eyes with these 5 steps.

  • Adjust your screen brightness. Dimming your screens can make a significant difference.
  • Get enough sleep: Turn off your devices at least one hour before bed.
  • Keep a safe distance:  Try keeping your screen about 4-5 inches below eye level and 20-28 inches from your eyes.
  • Practice the 20-20-20 Rule: Take a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Blink: Take a break, step away from the screen, and blink or fully close your eyes for approximately a minute. If the irritation continues, eye drops can help.

Another vital way to help protect your eyes is to visit your eye doctor. Eye exams help your eye care provider check your vision’s health and determine if any eye conditions may be developing. NCRGEA and AMBA have a comprehensive Vision Plan at affordable rates. The benefits of this plan include annual WellVision checkups, 100% coverage for most lenses (even progressives!), and thousands of nationwide in-network providers. Sign up today – acceptance is GUARANTEED! – at or call 800-956-1228.


Peace of Mind Doesn’t Need to Be a Headache: AMBA Makes Getting Life Insurance Easy

AMBA understands the challenges you face when it comes to life insurance. AMBA knows that many people like you need help obtaining a policy. That’s why AMBA’s mission is to make the process as easy and straightforward as possible.

People have various reasons for wanting life insurance. Some want the protections to cover their eventual final expenses. Others want it to help settle estate taxes or debt. Additional reasons include leaving a gift for one’s children and grandchildren or supplementing a life insurance policy that has not kept pace with inflation. At the heart of it, the reason is always the same: peace of mind for themselves and their families.

Other providers often make obtaining this essential coverage a complex and frustrating process. They may disqualify you due to medical conditions or lifestyle issues or require you to pass lengthy exams and tests. What’s more, many policies have premiums that can fluctuate over time or can drop you with no explanation. AMBA believes in a different approach, one that is transparent, fair, and designed to meet your needs.

How AMBA Makes Getting – and Having – Comprehensive Life Insurance Easy

Advantages of the Whole Life policy from your association and AMBA include:

  • Guaranteed acceptance for ages 45-85
  • Reasonable premiums guaranteed never to increase
  • You can never be canceled for any reason as long as premiums are paid.
  • Guaranteed benefits that are never reduced due to health or age.
  • A no-obligation 30-day return policy.
  • From a source you trust, NCRGEA and AMBA.

The Whole Life Policy from NCRGEA and AMBA can provide the financial security you and your family deserve. Learn more or sign up online at or call 800-956-1228 Mon.-Fri 9am-6pm ET.

March’s Recipe: Smart on the Wallet, Delicious on the Palette: Crispy Garlic Chicken

AMBA knows that feeding your loved ones healthy and delicious meals is a daily priority. But they needn’t be costly! Easy weeknight meals on a budget are possible. Once again, AMBA is back with a great, nutritious dinner recipe that won’t break the bank.

This affordable and easy-to-make chicken entrée will quickly become a household favorite. The cheese mix gives this recipe amazing flavor, and the crispy coating provides a satisfying crunch. Serve with steamed rice and broccoli.

Serves: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 35 minutes


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • A dash of pepper


  1. In a bowl, mix butter, garlic, garlic powder, and salt.
  2. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, both cheeses, and pepper.
  3. Dip the chicken in the butter mixture.
  4. Then, coat the chicken with the breadcrumb mixture.
  5. Place in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  6. Cover and bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

The Way to (the Health of) Your Heart Is Through the Eyes

Maintaining healthy vision is important. That’s why AMBA offers a Vision Plan that provides comprehensive coverage at a reasonable rate. AMBA also wants you to better understand the importance of your eyes concerning your overall health. For example, how your vision can reveal potentially serious heart problems.

Your eyes aren’t just the window to the soul—they also can reveal a lot about your heart. Vision and heart health are more connected than you might realize. Detecting early warning signs during a routine eye exam can provide important clues about potential heart issues.

High Blood Pressure

Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, is when blood pressure is consistently higher than it should be. Hypertension can lead to a stroke or a heart attack.

High blood pressure can put pressure on the eye’s blood vessels and cause damage including blood clots, bleeding in the eye, blurry vision, and even blindness.

Your eye doctor can detect some telltale signs of hypertension. These include:

  • Damaged arteries in the eyes.
  • Arteries in the eyes are unusually smaller than the veins.
  • Swelling in the eyes. High blood pressure can cause the retina’s arteries to stiffen. This can lead to bulging (swelling) in the eye when pressed against a blood vessel. 

Blood Clots

Eye doctors can detect a blocked artery during a routine eye exam. Arterial embolisms, the medical term for a blood clot blocking an artery, are serious, especially if it’s in the carotid artery. Even a small blood clot can cause blindness, tissue damage, stroke, and death.

Your eyes can also reveal evidence of ischemia, a condition in which blood flow and oxygen are restricted or reduced in a part of the body. In the instance of ocular ischemia, the interruption of blood flow causes the cells in the retina to die. When retinal cells die, they leave behind visible damage called retinal ischemic perivascular lesions (RIPLs). Researchers discovered that people with cardiovascular disease had more of these lesions. RIPLs may soon become the standard method to identify cardiovascular disease and a patient’s risk for a heart attack or a stroke.


Diabetes has damaging effects throughout the body, including on the eyes. As the disease progresses, common symptoms can include cataracts, worsening vision, and even blindness.

Patients may show no symptoms of diabetes and can even have perfect vision. However, an eye doctor can find signs during a routine eye exam. For example, in 2017, optometrists discovered over 400,000 cases of diabetic retinopathy in patients who hadn’t even been diagnosed with diabetes! In many cases, a routine eye exam helped patients take proactive measures to save their vision and avoid potential blindness.

Diabetes can also lead to a heart attack or other types of heart disease. But if caught early enough, your eye doctor can help you prevent potential life-threatening cardiac issues. Just think of it: a routine eye exam could save your vision and your life.

Want to keep your heart healthy? Then get a checkup with your eye doctor. The Vision Plan from NCRGEA and AMBA covers annual WellVision exams. The plan also provides 100% coverage for most lenses, even progressives, and thousands of nationwide in-network providers. Sign up today – acceptance is GUARANTEED! – at or call 800-956-1228.


Food Banks Are Ready To Eat Up Your Volunteer Help!

There’s a well-honed tradition at North Texas Food Bank’s Plano warehouse for the volunteers to follow when packing boxes with food.

One recent morning, a 19-member volunteer team loaded boxes with nonperishable food items – shelf-stable milk, soup, cereal, juice, canned beans, pasta, canned fruit, peanut butter, raisins, and more.

Each box they filled had to weigh 31.5 pounds. If it didn’t, it went back to quality control because that would mean some food item was missing. The boxes moved among a conveyor belt, then were weighed, loaded onto a forklift, and then shrink-wrapped. Eventually, thousands are packed and delivered by Island Harvest to senior citizens across the region.

Why Volunteering at Food Banks Make A Difference

Volunteers are helping the food bank package 4,000 food boxes a month, says the president and chief executive of the food bank. He and officials at the area’s other major food bank said such partnerships – not only with corporate volunteers who give time and money but also with several local hospitals – enable them to have a greater reach to help the local food-insecure population, which by one 2022 estimate was well into the hundreds of thousands of citizens.

“Packing 4,000 boxes is a lot,” he says. “We have a small staff. There’s just no way to achieve the needs of this project and the food needy in our community without volunteers.”

Giving Back at Food Banks

Among the retirees who volunteered recently is a retired teacher who now lives in nearby Denison. She’s been volunteering with North Texas Food Bank for almost 10 years. She was moved to do so, she says, out of a sense of wanting to help the community.

“This is one that definitely speaks to every community because food insecurity happens everywhere, whether it be schools, whether it be seniors,” she says.

Another volunteer said that when he was growing up he and his family received help from various social services programs because his mother was single and disabled. Now he wanted to give back and felt compelled to pitch in.

“I enjoy doing this,” he says. “It’s important that, since I have the capacity now, I can give back. My mother does receive food every month and it really makes a difference for her. Volunteering gives me the insight to see first-hand the incredible difference I can make for others who need the help and support.”

There are food banks across the country looking for help. Organizations like food banks are always looking for volunteers. During this holiday season, showing appreciation for all that you have by helping others is a wonderful idea. Consider pitching in. It can be a win-win: the organization gets the help it desperately needs to fulfill its mission, and you get an opportunity to contribute to others and make a difference. The food bank certainly isn’t the only organization that needs volunteers. Check out the NCRGEA partner Meals On Wheels to see what volunteering is needed this holiday season or throughout the upcoming new year.

Stay Safe From Online Scams This Holiday Season

With Cyber Monday upon us, many of us will be shopping sales online.

Unfortunately, retailers aren’t the only ones hoping to cash in on the influx of online shoppers. Online scams are constantly attempting to collect your personal and financial information or steal your money.

As you spread holiday cheer, here’s how to avoid spreading your sensitive financial information to fraudsters. Protect yourself this holiday gift-giving season with these tips to ensure you shop online safely and securely.

1. Locate The Lock

A secure internet connection when making a purchase is mandatory. Reputable websites use technologies such as SSL (Secure Socket Layer) that encrypt data during transmission to stay safe from online scams. You can confirm a secure connection if you see at the front of your address bar a little lock icon on your browser (and usually “https”).

2. Secure Payment Is Safer Payment

Shop only on sites that accept secure payment methods, such as credit card numbers and PayPal, which are electronically linked to your credit card or bank account. Never shop on a website that only accepts payment via check, cash, mail order, or requests you buy and pay with a gift card. Reputable merchants will usually have some sort of security seal of approval, such as DigiCert, Better Business Bureau, or VeriSign.

3. Keep Online Scams Down by Keeping Your Software Up to Date

Whatever device you shop on – whether it’s your smartphone, laptop, desktop, or tablet – always keep the operating system up to date. Also, use good anti-malware (“malicious software”) that includes anti-virus and a firewall.

4. Keep Criminals Away By Doing Your Homework

On auction sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace, check the seller’s reputation and read comments before buying a product to see what the experience was like for past customers.

5. Use Good Passwords

A good password is at least eight characters long and includes letters, numbers, and symbols. Or use a passphrase, which is a long string of words together, and include a number and symbol, too. For example, the sentence “My dog Emma has a birthday April 16!” could be used to create a passphrase like “MdEhabA16!

6. Smart Shoppers Are Safe Shoppers

Also, don’t forget the No. 1 tip about shopping: if it seems too good to be true, it is probably an online scam. You won’t find an iPhone 15 Pro for $300.

The holidays are meant to be enjoyed. These simple safety measures allow you to enjoy peace of mind as you shop online and gift the people who matter most to you! Want to shop safely and get fantastic deals and savings on all the best shopping and gifts for the holidays? Remember to use AMBA Discounts! Membership is absolutely FREE and you’re already enrolled as a member of your association!

Members, if you don’t have your activation code, please call our office at 919-834-4652 or 1-800-356-1190.

November’s Recipe: Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffing

Thanksgiving is a great time for loved ones to get together and share the holiday with one another. One great way to show appreciation and thanks for one another’s company is to remember to be inclusive. Whether for lifestyle or health reasons, some attendees of your Thanksgiving dinner may be either vegetarian or need or want a gluten-free alternative to traditional stuffing. This recipe will please them and anyone who craves great flavor with fewer calories! Quinoa is a fluffy, slightly crunchy, high-protein, gluten-free alternative grain. This recipe can be used to stuff a turkey or served as a side dish.

Servings: 8

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes


  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 small zucchinis, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup diced dried apricots
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lime


  1. In a saucepan, bring vegetable stock to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Add in quinoa and stir. Cover the pan and simmer until quinoa absorbs the liquid (approximately 10 to 15 minutes). Remove from heat.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir in the zucchini and butternut squash in the hot oil until slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir quinoa into the vegetables and gently mix green onions, apricots, cranberries, and parsley into the stuffing. Drizzle with lime juice.

Spice It Up!

Want to bring out the flavors even more? Consider adding a combination of spices such as rosemary, sage, pepper, Himalayan salt, cumin, ground jalapeno pepper, and/or Cuban seasoning to the olive oil in the pan and cooking them for a minute or two before adding in the zucchini and squash.

If you need a dessert for the holidays, head over to our Digital Member-Created Holiday Dessert Recipe Book.

Finding Inspiration from Others to Survive Cancer

Every cancer survivor has a story—one filled with fear, hope, and courage. While survivors have many things in common, no two journeys are the same. Many find inspiration and renewed determination to keep fighting in hearing other survivor’s stories. A cancer journey is so much more than just a diagnosis and treatment. It doesn’t just change the life of the person with the diagnosis, it changes the lives of everybody around them.

Kevin: CNS Cancer Survivor

“The first time I even heard of Central Nervous System Lymphoma – CNS – was when I was diagnosed with it. Finding a medical team that was knowledgeable and optimistic was essential for me to stay strong. Their confidence gave me confidence that I would be all right. Five years later, I’m still here, healthy, and enjoying being a new great-grandfather to a beautiful girl.”

Jodi: Breast Cancer Survivor

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer May 23, 2016. I consider myself very lucky because thankfully it wasn’t a journey I had to face alone. My family rallied around me, and their love and support were every bit as important as my treatment. When cancer puts you at your worst, you need the best. And nothing means more than to have your loved ones there to guide you, every step of the way.”

Melody: Ovarian Cancer Survivor

“When I was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer in 2013, I saw it as an opportunity. I knew if I never let the diagnosis keep me from doing what I love, I could change my life – and the lives of others – for the better. Cancer is a real challenge, but every challenge is also an opportunity! You just have to get on your feet and face it! Cancer forces you to listen to your body and refocus your attention on getting better. When friends and family tell me about any number of problems they’re facing, I remind them of my journey. If I got through my issues, they can get through theirs!”

Finding inspiration to beat cancer is an essential component for a good outcome. But so is being prepared for a potential diagnosis. Cancer can happen to anyone. Be ready. A Cancer policy from NCRGEA and AMBA helps protect you and your family in the event of a cancer diagnosis. Treatment, care, travel, and other out-of-pocket expenses are costly. This plan pays cash in one lump sum upon the first diagnosis of internal cancer or malignant melanoma. You can even add an optional Heart and Stroke rider to your policy. Learn more by requesting a Benefits Review at or speak with a skilled AMBA representative by calling 800-956-1228.