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Tag Archives: dinner

Healthy Deviled Eggs

5 Nov

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Another delicious game day recipe!

We all love those fluffy, creamy deviled eggs. But they are anything but healthy for you. Filled with full fat mayonaise and all of those egg yolks. Thoughts of your pants getting tighter by the egg full…

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But now, you can fully enjoy that same delicious deviled egg taste, in a healthy way :)

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Healthy Deviled Eggs

– 12 Eggs, hard boiled
– 1/4 cup Low Fat Cream Cheese
– 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
– 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
– 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
– 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
Directions: After hard boiled eggs have cooled, slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the yellow yolks into a bowl. Discard half of the yolks and place the remaining ones in a high speed blender or food processor. Add in all other ingredients. Blend until smooth. Scoop back into empty egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika. Store in refrigerator until serving.

Egg Benefits
1) Rich in the proteins lutein and zeaxanthin, which aid in eye health
2) Aids in cardiovascular health
3) Rich in Choline, a B vitamin that is thought of as brain food” as it aids in neurological function and development
4) Prevents breast cancer
5) Leads to healthy skin, hair and nails- being high in sulfur
6) Contains 6 grams of protein and all the amino acids needed to build protein

Greek Yogurt
1) Help fight tummy fat
2) Contains good-for-you bacteria
3) Loaded with vitamins such as potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, B12 and B5
4) Great recovery after workouts: high source of protein
5) High in calcium
6) Prevents high blood pressure
7) Fights off colds and flus: healthy bacteria fights off the bad and boosts the immune system
8) Protects your teeth: lactic acid in yogurt protects your gums
9) High in protein, about 18-24 grams per serving

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Butternut Squash Noodle Autumn Soup with Swiss Chard and Butter Beans

16 Oct

Who loves pasta?! Sadly, it’s one of those things that everyone feels they need to give up when embarking on the healthy lifestyle.

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But not anymore. Thanks to Ali, a fellow blogger and the founder of Inspiralized.com, you can now have noodles…the healthy way! After contacting me telling me all about her blog and the art of the spiralizer, I was so intrigued that I wanted to give her the spotlight here for a day :)

Ali has made a whole blog dedicated to food made with the spiralizer. If you haven’t heard of a spiralizer, you may have heard of zucchini pasta. Basically, the spiralizer makes noodles out of vegetables. This is such a creative, fun and HEALTHY way to cook.

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No longer do you need to fear noodles!!

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I told Ali I was a huge fan of pumpkin and squashes, so she made this delectable recipe. I got hungry just looking at the photographs!

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The recipe will be below, but head on over to Inspiralized.com to check out Ali if you would like to see if the spiralizer is something you would be interested in!

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Butternut Squash Noodle Autumn Soup with Swiss Chard and Butter Beans
Servings: 2
Time to Prepare: 15
Time to Cook: 30 minutes
Ingredients
(1) 3″ long peeled chunk of butternut squash, spiralized (a julienne peeler can also be used- full guide on spiralizing a butternut squash here: http://www.inspiralized.com/2013/10/09/how-to-spiralize-a-butternut-squash/)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme (or about 2 fresh sprigs)
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 cup butter beans
8 leaves of swiss chard
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese to garnish
Directions
Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. Once the oil heats, add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then, add in the red pepper flakes, celery, red onion, and carrots. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and parsley. Let cook for about 5 minutes or until carrots begin to soften.
Add in the vegetable broth and raise heat to bring to a boil. Once the soup reaches a boil, add in the butternut squash noodles and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes and then add in the butter beans and swiss chard. Cook for another 2 minutes or until squash noodles are softened and swiss chard has wilted.
Plate the soup into bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Sweetpotato Pizza Crust with Sweetpotato Curry Sauce

9 Oct

In case you didn’t see my Sweetpotato Cookie Dough Dip, let me tell you a little something special. Why did I spell  “sweetpotato” as one word you may ask? What I used here in this recipe is not just your typical sweet potato. No, these are California sweetpotatoes! The recipe Redux community is having a California sweetpotato contest, and of course, I had to participate! What’s unique about California sweetpotatoes is that they are grown in soft sand and are hand sorted during harvest to minimize scarring and scratching. The result is a visually, higher quality sweetpotato. California sweetpotatoes are a “nutrition bang for the calorie buck” with 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, a good source of vitamin C and more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, all for 105 calories per serving. Plus, they are available year-round.

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Many that are striving to live a healthy lifestyle avoid pizza at all costs because of thinking it is so bad. But when a recipe like this is created, the fear of pizza can disappear!

Made with gluten free rolled oats and sweetpotato, this pizza crust is far from the typical unhealthy crust. You can now have your pizza and eat it too!

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Sweetpotatoes are so versatile in the fact that they are not only delicious plain, baked in the oven like other potatoes, but they also turn out great in recipes! Whether a savory or sweet dish, these sweetpotatoes raise the bar on any typical recipe. In this unique pizza crust recipe, it added such a great taste and texture.

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My boyfriend (who is skeptical sometimes about my healthy food) loved it! That is proof that it is a tasty recipe. Want a pizza night soon but also don’t want to ruin your hard work in healthy living? Make this recipe for a great night with family or friends. I decided to make two mini pizzas. I topped one with a sweetpotato curry sauce (see below crust recipe) and veggies, and the other one with regular pizza sauce, veggies, and chicken. The sky is the limit with a delicious crust like this!

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Sweetpotato Pizza Crust
Makes 2 mini pizzas or 1 medium pizza

–    1/2 cup California Sweetpotato, cooked (about 1 medium sweetpotato)
–    1/2 cup Oat Flour (1 cup Rolled Oats, blended to flour)
–    1 whole Egg
–    2 tablespoons Chia Seeds (or flaxseeds)
–    1/2 teaspoon Coconut Oil
–    1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt, Cayenne Pepper, and Garlic Salt
–    1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place sweetpotato, flour, and egg into high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add in other ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Cover a pizza tray with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with nonstick spray and place pizza dough on it. Spread out to desired thinness (may need roller). Place into oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove and add desired toppings. Bake in oven for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, cut into slices, and enjoy.

Optional Sweet Potato Sauce
–    1/2 cup sweetpotato, cooked
–    3 tablespoons Canned Coconut Milk
–    1/2 teaspoon Crushed Garlic
–    2 teaspoons Curry Powder
–    1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
–    1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Directions: Blend all ingredients together in high speed blender. Use as a topping for sweetpotato pizza crust above if desired.

Sweetpotato Benefits
1) High in vitamin B6
2) Good source of vitamin C
3) Contain vitamin D
4) Contain iron
5) Good source of magnesium
6) High in fiber
7) Rich in vitamin A

Chia Seeds
1) Combats Diabetes: with its gelatinous coating it can prevent blood sugar spikes, and is also slow digesting which has lead to it being a possible treatment for diabetes
2) High in fiber: just 1 oz. has 1/3 of daily needed amount
3) Packed with Omega 3 Fatty Acids
4) Supports Bone and Teeth Health: packed with calcium
5) High in Manganese: an essential mineral for your bones
6) Rich in Phosphorous: aids body in synthesizing protein for cell and also maintaining healthy bones
7) High in protein: great source for vegetarians
8) Fights Belly Fat: it’s stabilizing affect on blood sugar also fights insulin resistance which is tied to an increase of belly fat
9) Contain tryptophan: also found in turkey, it is responsible for regulating appetite and improving sleep
10) Improves heart health

I received free samples
of California sweetpotatoes
mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am
entering a recipe contest sponsored by
the California Sweetpotato Council
and am eligible to win prizes
associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time

Taco Salad in a Jar

21 Aug

Raising the Bar on Food in a Jar. 

Mason jars used to be just for canning – but now they may be more likely used for overnight oats. How do you do food in a jar? I’m raising the bar on food in a jar today.

Did you know that jars are the perfect way to bring salads on the go? Those giant 32 ounce mason jars are perfect for this. When Recipe Redux released it’s theme this month as food in a jar, I knew what I wanted to do!

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Salads are the perfect summer meal. Cool, crisp, and refreshing. Oh, and did I mention, an extremely healthy option? However those taco salads you can order out, are usually anything but nutritious. Did you know that a simple chicken taco salad at Taco Bell is over 750 calories and 60 grams of fat?! That is what scares me. People think salad, and they think chicken, and order a meal like that, thinking that they are eating healthy. Unfortunately, choosing to buy rather than pack your lunch comes with a big price.

This is why I have created a healthy option that still has all those delicious flavors. But with not near as much fat. Or calories. I’m not one to keep count of the calories I eat, but over 750 for a simple salad?! I knew there must be a better option.

Meet my 32 ounce mason jar. It is one of my best friends when taking food on the go. I fill it with smoothies and shakes to take with me all the time (like this or this one), but I decided to spice it up from the typical smoothie today. Mason jar, meet delicious salad.

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Ground turkey instead of beef, chick peas instead of the typical beans, fresh raw corn. All the flavors you love about a taco. Without the greasy shell. But you may ask, how do you keep your salad becoming soggy? Meet my mini bottle used to carry salad dressing. I found a pack of 3 of these for only 2.99! They are the absolute best for salads on the go, as you keep the salad dressing off the salad until just before eating :) Fill it with dressing of choice, or even just some salsa to go on top of that salad. Whichever you would like. No mater what you choose, you win when you pack this salad to go.

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Taco Salad in a Jar
-1/2 cup ground turkey, cooked
-1/2 cup raw corn
-1/2 cup chick peas, drained and rinsed
-1/2 cup sliced red bell peppers
-1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
-1.5 cups lettuce, cut

Dressing to go:
-Healthy Ranch Dressing (found here)
-Dressing of choice
-Salsa

Directions: Obtain a 32 ounce mason jar. In the order listed, place all ingredients into jar. Finish off jar with lettuce, to prevent any wilting. Choose dressing of choice and fill any tiny to go container with dressing. Don’t forget a fork! :)

Tomato Benefits
1)Low in calories
2)High in vitamin C
3)Good source of vitamins A,K,folate and potassium
4)Provides thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper
5)Source of fiber
6)High water content
7)Source of beta-carotene and lycopene (good skin protectors)

Chickpea Benefits
1) Great source of protein and fiber ( 1 cup has 10g fiber and 12g protein)
2) Rich in calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc
3) Can improve your circulatory and heart health
4) Fiber aids in a healthy digestive system and lower cholesterol

Turkey Benefits:
1) One 3.5 oz serving is packed with 30 grams of protein and only 4 grams of fat
2) Loaded with B vitamins:phosphorous, potassium, zinc, and iron
3)Rich in Selenium–antioxidant necessary for thyroid metabolism
4)Contains tryptophan–amino acid that triggers serotonin production and aids in sleep

Avocado Artichoke Pesto Stuffed Chicken

10 Aug

I don’t know what it is about stuffed chicken recipes, but I love them. And I love creating new ones.

Lately I have been loving avocados. Not only because they are delicious, but because when I’m staying away from the typical unhealthy fats for the most part, I need a lot of good fats!  Along with homemade nut butters, avocados are something I eat daily to get those healthy fats.  They not only have tons of good, healthy fats, but they have many other benefits. This makes them a delicious summer ingredient, and not just in guacamole!

Did you know that avocados have been called “The World’s Most Perfect Food”?? And rightfully so! An avocado contains every single nutrient that a person would need to survive.

Avocados are rich in many vitamins, such as A, C, D, E, K, and all of the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). Dr. Daniel G. Amen, a clinical neuroscientist, psychiatrist, brain-imaging expert and author of the New York Times bestseller Change Your Brain, Change Your Life counts avocados as one of the top brain-healthy foods that can help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

I became so excited when I heard there was a contest involving avocados, and instantly became motivated to create something delicious. I have a few delicious recipes, but today, it’s all about the stuffed chicken! I love pesto.  I just adore that delicious basil taste. That is why I knew I wanted to incorporate it in this recipe creation. The creamy taste of avocados, the flavor of fresh picked basil..I knew I was heading in the right direction.

This is the perfect summer night meal, as even though it may seem like you are indulging, it was made in a very healthy manner! Protein packed and rich in healthy fats, this delicious meal is sure to keep you satisfied, in both hunger and taste.

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 Avocado Artichoke Creamy Pesto Filling
– 2 avocados, flesh
– 1/2 14oz can artichokes, chopped
-1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
– 1/4 cup  low fat cottage cheese
-1T lemon juice
-1 teaspoon crushed garlic
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1/2 teaspoon red pepper seasoning
-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Other:
-4 large Chicken Breasts
-1 T each: dried basil, thyme, onion
-1 tsp each: pepper flakes, garlic powder, sea salt

Directions: In high speed blender or food processor, add all avocado filling ingredients, except artichokes, and blend until smooth. Stir in chopped artichokes. Place in fridge until needed. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take out chicken breast, and butterfly with knife (cut breast in half horizontally but not all the way through so that it is still in one piece). Place 1/4 mixture in each breast, and fold back top half of chicken to “close”. In a shallow bowl, mix all the dried seasonings and salt together. Sprinkle rub mixture on each breast on both sides, and place on a cookie pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Cook in oven for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is done.

Avocado Benefits:

1) Filled with Monounsaturated Fats: types of fats that help control triglycerides in the bloodstream, lower blood cholesterol and control diabetes.

2) By adding avocado to certain foods, you can improve your absorption of nutrients

3) Provides all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, the body readily absorbs avocado protein because avocados also contain fiber.

4) Pack with Folate:  a water-soluble B vitamin that promotes healthy cell and tissue development. According to the National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, “This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is also essential for metabolism of homocysteine and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid.”

5) Contains Lutein: a carotenoid that protects against cataracts and certain types of cancer, and reduces the risk of muscular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 years of age and older. Avocados contain 3 or more times as much lutein as found in other common vegetables and fruits.

6) Rich in Oleic acid and Potassium — Both of these nutrients also help in lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of high blood pressure.

7) Good source of fiber

“I received free samples of California Avocado mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Avocado and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Spaghetti Squash Cakes, Sliders, and Pizza!

2 Aug

Remember that spaghetti squash I posted about yesterday? Well I have some fun creations for you all to try out next time you cook one.

There was a fun burger contest I was competing in on Instagram, and the day’s theme was sliders. I decided to get creative with my leftover spaghetti squash.

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Yep, for part of my creation, I decided to try to make some Spaghetti Squash Cakes. Wow, I could have eaten them all just plain like that! But I resisted (at least most of them) so I could create my desired product. Spaghetti and Meatball Sliders.

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These were so delicious. And so quick and simple! If you’re like me, and made my delicious turkey meatballs, and froze them for when wanting them (great food prep idea for quick meals), then you are basically set to go! Coupled with my homemade tomato basil sauce from yesterday, and you’ve got yourself some delicious yet healthy sliders.

But then another idea came. Why not make all the mini patties, into one, big patty. Or shall I say, pizza crust? :)

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Yes I sure did! I made a personal spaghetti pizza with some more spaghetti squash, by doubling my patty recipe! Using the same exact ingredients, but just in a new way! With so many different meal options, why not make my homemade turkey meatballs and tomato basil sauce, and freeze to have on hand?!

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Spaghetti Squash Cakes
Makes about 8 mini patties
-1 cup spaghetti squash,cooked
-1T coconut flour
-1T ground flaxseed
-1 egg white
-1 tsp dried oregano
-1/4 tsp each: garlic salt, onion powder

Directions: Combine all ingredients in bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed. Heat non stick pan on stove over medium heat. Form small patties with hands and place on hot pan. Cook about 5 minutes on each side, or until browned. Eat plain, as a side to a meal, or make my sliders or pizza below!

Spaghetti Sliders
-1 recipe of Spaghetti Squash patties, see above
-1/4 cup homemade tomato basil sauce, here (or any tomato sauce)
-4 Spinach and Sundried Tomato Turkey Meatballs, here
-1 big handful sauteed spinach
-1/4 cup low fat crumbled feta cheese (or cheese of choice)

Directions: Make patties according to recipe. Place half of the patties on a plate. Layer with sauteed spinach, tomato sauce, one small meatball, and feta cheese. Top with other patty. Enjoy!

Spaghetti Pizza-makes 1 big personal pizza
-2 batches of Spaghetti Squash Patty ingredients, above
-1/2 cup homemade tomato basil sauce (or tomato sauce of choice)
-2 spinach and sundried tomato turkey meatballs, crumbled into bits
-1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
-a few fresh basil leaves
-sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place ingredients for two batches worth of spaghetti squash patties in bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined. Spread out onto a piece of parchment paper, sprayed with non-stick spray. Flatten to desired thickness. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, or until reaching desired crispness. Remove from oven and top with spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle crumbled meatballs and feta cheese, and top with basil leaves. Add sea salt and pepper to taste

Spaghetti Squash Benefits
1) Rich in vitamin C
2) Contains vitamins A, B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin K
3) Rich in minerals that lead to good healthy, the dominant being manganese. This aids in healthy bones, tissues, and sex hormones, and also plays in metabolism and regulation of blood sugar.
4) High in fiber, leading to satiety and decrease of cardiovascular disease
5) Only 42 calories in 1 cup compared to about 200 in a cup of spaghetti.

Tomato Benefits
1)Low in calories
2)High in vitamin C
3)Good source of vitamins A,K,folate and potassium
4)Provides thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper
5)Source of fiber
6)High water content
7)Source of beta-carotene and lycopene (good skin protectors)

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce on Spaghetti Squash

1 Aug

Have you tried Spaghetti Squash before? If not, I highly recommend it!

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Not only do I truly like it better than spaghetti, but it is so much healthier. My mom was very iffy before trying it, as she is not always into my “healthy recreations”. But she is now a full supporter of the lovely squash. She gets so excited every time she comes home to one in the oven. With it being so much lighter than regular spaghetti, it allows you to fully enjoy whatever toppings you put on it. Which brings me to the main part of this post, my homemade sauce.

I love spaghetti sauce. Actually, anything with tomatoes. Salsa, tomato sauce, marinara sauce, even just plain sliced tomatoes with some salt and pepper! But with some store bought sauces being filled with so many unneeded ingredients, I decided to come up with my own recipe that I could revisit every time I wanted some.

Side Note: I finally got an actual camera! Yes, all the pictures until now have been from my Iphone! I could not be more excited to finally begin taking photography again whether it be food or other thing..like my pup!

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But back to the main focus :) This spaghetti sauce recipe is so simple, it certainly does not take a personal chef to make it! And guess what? without counting seasonings, it only has FOUR ingredients!  Served with spaghetti squash, and you have yourself a meal. Don’t know how to make spaghetti squash? That can be learned below as well :)

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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
-1 cup red onion, diced
-1 15oz can Tomato Sauce
-1 14.5oz can Diced Tomatoes
-1 6oz can Tomato Puree
-1T fresh chopped Basil
-1 clove of Garlic
-1 tsp each: dried Parsley, Oregano, Thyme
-1/2 tsp garlic salt
-Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Place minced garlic clove and onion in pot on stove, and sauté until onion is transparent on medium heat.  Add in all other ingredients, and stir to combine. Allow to simmer on medium low heat for 20 minutes. Serve on spaghetti squash or other desired food. Keep in sealed container in fridge for up to one week.

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Spaghetti Squash
-1 spaghetti squash
-olive oil spray
-seasonings of choice (garlic salt, sea salt, pepper, season salt, onion powder)
-sauce of choice (marinara, meat sauce, Alfredo, pesto, homemade sauce, simple olive oil)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut squash in half long wise. Take out seeds from middle. Either wash seeds for baking separately, or throw away. Lightly coat flesh of both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Put flesh side down on baking tray. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes (depending on size). If wanting more aldente “spaghetti” texture, check after 30 minutes. Take out of oven. With fork, begin to scrape out insides, going length-wise down the entire half of the squash. It will begin to come off as string-like “spaghetti noodles”. Continue to do so until all flesh is out of the hard outside shell. Toss shell or use as serving bowl. Prepare “noodles” with one of the following additions: 1)with one tablespoon or two of olive oil, and delicious seasonings of choice for a light side 2) toss with homemade sauce above for a real taste of spaghetti, 3) with any other sauce of choice, like Alfredo, pesto, or a homemade sauce. Top with any additional veggies or protein as desired. My turkey meatballs would be delicious for this :)

Tomato Benefits
1)Low in calories
2)High in vitamin C
3)Good source of vitamins A,K,folate and potassium
4)Provides thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper
5)Source of fiber
6)High water content
7)Source of beta-carotene and lycopene (good skin protectors)

Spaghetti Squash Benefits
1) Rich in vitamin C
2) Contains vitamins A, B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin K
3) Rich in minerals that lead to good healthy, the dominant being manganese. This aids in healthy bones, tissues, and sex hormones, and also plays in metabolism and regulation of blood sugar.
4) High in fiber, leading to satiety and decrease of cardiovascular disease
5) Only 42 calories in 1 cup compared to about 200 in a cup of spaghetti.

Source: LiveStrong.com