Tag Archives: Fruit and Vegetable

Kalamata Olive Hummus

25 Jun

I could eat a whole container of hummus with carrots. It’s just so good. On sandwiches as the sauce, on crackers, or or as a dip for veggies..you can never go wrong by having hummus in your fridge!

It is such a great appetizer to prepare when having people over too. I always make this hummus when guests are coming, and it is always the first bowl I’m refilling!

But did you know that hummus is made of a lot of oil and tahini (basically ground sesame), when buying packaged? That is what give it that oh so smooth texture. But because of those ingredients, just two tablespoons of dip is quite costly in calories. And let’s be honest, who truly only eats two tablespoons?

The way I have created this hummus, allows you to enjoy guilt free, as it is made of almost nothing but chick peas, olives, and spices! And it is just as delicious as the other stuff. Everyone is always asking for the recipe, so I thought I would share it with you.

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Kalamata Olive Hummus
-1 15oz can chick peas
-1/2 4.25oz can chopped kalamata olives
-1/4 cup liquid from chick pea can
-lemon juice from 1/4 of a lemon
-1 or 2 garlic cloves (if not wanting to taste much of  it, use 1)
-2 tsp dried onion
-2 tsp cumin
-1T cajun spice seasoning

Directions: Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth. If needing more liquid, add more reserved liquid from canned chick peas. Enjoy!
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

Kalamata Olive Benefits
1) Good source of monounsaturated fats
2)Rich in vitamin E, polyphenols and flavonoids which pretext against free radicals, reduce inflammation, and build the immune system
3) High in vitamin A, which helps fight cancer and maintain healthy eye sight.
4) Rich in minerals, such as calcium, copper, iron, and magnesium–good for strong bones and clear skin
5) High in fiber

Source: Livestrong.com

Best of Both Worlds Smoothie

22 Jun

Sometimes, you can’t just choose one flavor. And sometimes, that is just okay.

Why not get the benefits of fruit, and vegetables, all in one glass, without getting a yucky mixed flavor taste? This will solve all the problems for us indecisive ones..

The Best of Both Worlds Smoothie


-1 frozen banana

-3 frozen almond milk cubes

-1/2 cup Greek yogurt

-1/4 cup cooked oatmeal

-1/4 cup almond milk

-1T chia seeds

*Pour half into glass and set aside

Strawberry layer

Add for frozen strawberries and ¼ tsp coconut extract, and 1T shredded coconut to base. Blend, and pour into a different glass.

Green Layer

-Pour the other half of the base back into blender. Add a handful of spinach, ½ tsp greens powder, and 1T peanut butter (or peanut flour for lower calories). Pour on top of strawberry layer in glass. Enjoy!

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Strawberry Benefits

1) 1 Cup has only 43 calories and 13% RDA fiber

2) Contains the antioxidant compounds called phenols

3) Phenols fight inflammation in the same way over the counter drugs do

4) Fights cancer due to antioxidants, vitamin C, folate, and flavonoids

5) Decreases chances of muscular degeneration

6) 136% of RDA’s vitamin C

7) Rich in manganese, which is great for bones and inflammation

Spinach Benefits

1) 20% RDA fiber in one cup

2) Contains flavonoids, phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties

3) Rich in neoxanthin and violaxanthin which are two anti-inflammatory agents

4) Rich in antioxidants—Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc, and selenium

5) Inhibits the angiotensin I-converting enzyme which aids in lowering blood pressure

6) Rich in vitamin A which is beneficial for the skin, and fights sickness in the body

7) Rich in vitamin K (1000% RDA), which helps density and strength of our bones, and aids in brain functioning

 Source: HealthDiaries.com

Where is all the pumpkin?! +my homemade squash substitute

18 Jun
No more Libbys canned pumpkin in SW Florida :((

No more Libbys canned pumpkin in SW Florida :((

But seriously..is anyone else having a hard time finding canned pumpkin in their normal grocery store?! You know me, a little pumpkin obsessed. Yet, Publix (my grocery store), doesn’t have it anymore! Ever! All they have is that yucky sugar filled “pumpkin pie filling”. No thanks.

I had to do something about this problem. Hence, why no pumpkin recipes have been posted lately :( But have no fear! After some research, I found out that buttercup squash is almost just like a pumpkin, but just a bit drier in texture! So, I went and bought myself one of those buttercup squashes, and the result was absolutely delicious.

It was a little dry compared to fresh cooked pumpkin like it claimed, so I decided to puree it all with a couple little additions, so that it would be ready to take out and use when desiring it! It added a little bit of flavor and sweetness without any added sugar along with a creamy smoothness, so that I could use it as a delicious spread on my daily toast (yes, I have toast every single day, I love it<3). Or in shakes, or in oatmeal, or with a spoon! Ahh, why do I love pumpkin so much? Yes, this definitely fulfilled my pumpkin expectations<33

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Buttercup Squash Pumpkin Substitute
-1 buttercup squash
-2 cups almond milk or water
-1T cinnamon
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp sea salt
Directions: Place squash in preheated oven at 400 degrees (yes, you can just put it in whole to prevent extra mess!). Bake until slightly soft on outside, about 45 minutes to an hour. Take out of oven when slightly soft and cut in half. Scoop out seeds. Discard or wash to bake later! Scoop out the flesh of the squash from the skin and place it into a blender. Add the milk/water (milk for creamier version), cinnamon, extract, and salt. Blend until smooth. Store in fridge! Can you in place of canned pumpkin, or as a simple not too sweet spread on toast :)

Buttercup Squash Benefits:
1)Iron rich, comparable to red meat!
2)Rich in Calcium-22% more calcium than milk
3)High in vitamin A
4)Low in fat
5)Fiber content is higher than most vegetables
6)Excellent source of beta-carotene
7)Rich in magnesium (important in activating enzymes required for muscle and nerve function)

Zucchini Coconut Bread “Zoats”

5 Jun

Zoats: Zucchini and Oats cooked together

I was very curious when first hearing about this. But my curiosity led me to make them, and boy was I ever so thankful I did! They are a delicious take on your normal bowl of oats, except for more filling, voluminous, creamy, and all around delicious!

Since I was experimenting for the very first time, I decided, what comes to my mind when I think of zucchini? Well, the only time I really eat it is when I make my zucchini coconut bread! So, that is the flavor I decided to reconstruct in this oatmeal :)

The coconut flavor mixed with the creaminess of the oats and zucchini were to die for. And it was so much more filling than regular oatmeal! Not to mention, more delicious with a flavor like this!

Zucchini is such a healthy addition to your typical oats. It is a vegetable for one thing, so it allows you to get in some greens first thing in the morning without feeling like you are eating vegetables for breakfast! There are also so many benefits that come with them:

1) 1 cup only has 36 calories  2) lowers cholesterol through high fiber and vitamin C and A   3)Anti-Inflammatory    4)High in manganese   5) lowers blood pressure

So, what are you waiting for?? If you haven’t had these before, you should most certainly make some zoats soon!


Zucchini Coconut Bread Zoats

-1 cup oats

-1/2 cup shredded zucchini

-1.5-2 cups almond milk (depending on desired thickness)

-2 T shredded coconut

-1/2 tsp coconut extract

-1/2 tsp cinnamon, and all spice

-sweetener of liking: stevia or agave are great!

Directions: Mix all ingredients together. Either store in jar in fridge overnight, or cook immediately on stove or in microwave for about 2 minutes. Top with walnuts and shredded coconut.


Sweet Potato Wrap

3 Jun

Sugar Detox- Day 15!

It’s the start of week three of my sugar detox, and still going strong! It is getting easier and easier to avoid foods with added sugar. I don’t even think of chewing gum anymore since I haven’t in so long (which is a miracle for me!), my teeccino (herbal coffee) with no sugar in the mornings is getting better and better (even though I still rather a touch of sweetener), and I’ve realized how much healthier it is to fill up on real food after a workout than continually make all these protein powder filled shakes and breads. And definitely NO artificial sweeteners whatsoever, which I am glad to say I will never put in my body again :) Overall, it has been such a healthy change in my lifestyle!

For lunch the other day, I created a homemade sweet potato wrap, and made a delicious turkey and arugula wrap with it! I liked it so much, that today, I made it for lunch again, but put some ricotta cheese on it and tomatoes, and made it into a healthy pizza! Mmmm. Make it for breakfast filled with fruit or eggs, make it for lunch filled with turkey and cheese, or make it even for a sweet treat filled with chocolate and fruit!

Sweet potatoes have so many great benefits to them, here are just a few that I found here:

-loaded with fiber (twice as much than a regular potato-7grams!)

-healthy for your heart (high B6 content and lots of potassium)

-rich in beta-carotene (good for cell repair and sun protection

-great source of manganese (stabilizes appetite for hours)

-Rich in vitamin C and E

As you can see, this wrap is a good one to make!

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Sweet Potato Wrap
-2T pureed cooked sweet potato
-1T coconut flour
-1/4 cup egg whites
-1T almond milk
-salt to taste
Directions: Add all ingredients together and mix until thoroughly combined. Cook in pan on stove, flip on other side when set. Fill or top with desired food!

Pumpkin “Starter”

1 May

Yes, haha, I have made a term for a pumpkin starter. :)

Whenever I open up a can of pumpkin, or cook a fresh one, I always add a couple of ingredients to it right away so that it will be ready to add to anything! Unless of course I’m using the pumpkin for a specific purpose already.

But let’s be honest, most of the time I’m opening up the can because I love adding pumpkin to many things. My coffee, shakes, smoothies, yogurt, microwave mug cakes, peanut butter, you name it!

But I have to admit, not even I like just plain pumpkin. It’s got to have at least a little sweetener added! So in order to make things a little bit easier on myself, I always mix in a few ingredients right as I open the can so that it is ready to go! Then I store it in a container (even though it doesn’t last long), so that I can add it to whatever I want as the week goes on. Hope you find this helpful to do as well!

Sometimes, I even eat it like this plain on a spoon or put it on toast :)

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Pumpkin Starter
-1 can pumpkin
-1/2 cup almond milk
-1 packet stevia/2T agave (add more for desired taste)
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp cinnamon
Directions: mix altogether and keep in fridge until needing it! Keeps fresh in fridge up to a week (but mine is always gone long before)

Curried Cauliflower Bites

12 Apr

Ever just crave something that’s just crunchy? Don’t you wish you had a recipe you could make to satisfy that craving without it being fried.

Well I got one for you! Not only is this not fried, but made with a veggie. How much greater can it get?

The other night I was really wanting something with a crunch to it to go alongside of my chicken for dinner. I looked in my fridge. What did I see? A bag of cauliflower that needed to be used up. So what did I do? Created something that would both, use this bag of veggies up, and satisfy my craving.

Usually curry is made with lots of cream. But not this one! This one has protein-packed greek yogurt in it! And gives it that same, lovely curry taste.

Make it alongside of other things for a meal, or make for a simple snack when getting those afternoon cravings! Either way, this is a healthy, yummy food that you don’t want to pass up:)

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Curried Cauliflower
1/2 head of cauliflower
-1 container of chobani plain greek yogurt (about 1/2 cup)
-1T soy sauce
-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
-1T curry powder
-Seasonings: garlic salt, pepper, sea salt, onion powder, anything else you want!(about 1/2 tsp of each)
Directions: Combine all but cauliflower in a bowl until mixed. Add in cauliflower and toss until thoroughly coated. Let sit for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower on oil-sprayed(else they WILL stick!) baking tray. Bake until browned, about 15-20 minutes. Turn oven on broil for last couple minutes for further browning.

Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip

24 Mar

One of my favorite things to do is to find something really good in a store, and then use my creativity to make something like it, but with only fresh, natural ingredients in my own kitchen! It gives me a challenge.

Well last night was one of those challenges. Recently, I bought this dip at Trader Joes that was called a “guilt free spinach kale” dip, made of Greek yogurt. I thought wow, here’s something that’s healthy and made of natural yogurt instead of all the processed stuff! So I bought it and took it home. And man, it was certainly very good. BUT, I was sad to look at the ingredients, and find that it was indeed made of mayo, along with the Greek yogurt that had been advertized in big font on the label. Sure, if you consider anything lower in calories “healthy”, then I guess you could call it that. But for me, I say something is healthy when it’s made of all natural ingredients, no fake sugars or chemicals, and has actual health benefits in it.

So what did I do? I decided to make made my own! Completely out of Greek yogurt instead of that yucky mayo.  This one is packed with protein and made up of so many different veggies that are vitamin and mineral loaded, not to mention detoxifying ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, kale, and lemon juice :) I hope you enjoy!


Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip
-1.5 cupe Greek yogurt
-4 oz. water chestnuts, finely chopped
-1/4-1/2 cup cooked spinach, finely chopped
-1/2 cup kale, cooked and finely chopped
-1/4 cup each: red pepper, onion, carrots
-1 tsp each: garlic puree, apple cider vinegar,lemon juice, guar gum and agave
-seasonings: (about 1/2 tsp each) sea salt, garlic salt, italian seasonings, dillweed, onion flakes, mustard powder, season salt

Directions: Place yogurt in bowl. Chop chestnuts, spinach, kale, red pepper, onion and carrots up, and mix with yogurt. Add in all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Taste, and add more seasoning if needed. Enjoy!