Sunday, December 21, 2014

Butternut Squash with Grapes



This is a really flavorful and healthy side dish that is perfect for the holidays!  The combination of flavors in this are so delicious! The natural sweetness from the grapes just blends so well with the squash and sage in this dish. Super Yummy!

Here some health benefits of butternut squash:
Butternut squash has more vitamin A than a pumpkin constituting about 354% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for optimum eye-sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help the body protected against lung and oral cavity cancers.

It is rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 , thiamin, and pantothenic acid.

It has similar mineral profile as that in pumpkin, containing adequate levels of minerals like iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
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Ingredients:


  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 (2 pound) butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound seedless red grapes
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2.  Mix squash, grapes, onion, chopped pecans, olive oil, salt, pepper, and sage leaves together in a large baking dish to coat squash, onion, and grapes in oil and seasoning.
3.  Roast in the preheated oven until squash and onion are golden and slightly caramelized, about 50 minutes.

Calories 104  Cholesterol 0  Fiber 2.4g  Sodium 93mg  Carbs 16g   Fat 4.7g  Protein 2g

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cauliflower Popcorn


Here is a tasty and healthier alternative to regular popcorn.  Tastes delicious and kids like it too! Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse that is low in fat and carbohydrates but high in fiber.  It has also been shown in studies to prevent certain types of cancer. So go ahead and try this healthy and yummy recipe!  You can also jazz it up by sprinkling parmesan cheese over this.   Lining a baking sheet with parchment paper will make clean up easy too.  Hope you enjoy!
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Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 large head cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Whisk olive oil and garlic salt together in a large bowl; add cauliflower and toss to coat completely. Spread cauliflower out onto a baking sheet.
3.  Bake in the preheated oven until golden and tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

Calories: 83 Carbohydrates: 11.2g  Fiber: 5.3g  Cholesterol: 0 Sodium: 290 mg. Fat: 3.6g Protein:4.2g

Friday, November 28, 2014

Pumpkin Granola Parfait



If you are craving some pumpkin pie but want to avoid all the calories here is a yummy healthier alternative.  Using some prepared granola for the topping makes this super easy or try making this recipe for home made Cinnamon Vanilla Granola
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Serves 2
Ingredients:
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/2 cup low-fat granola

Directions:
Combine the pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin in a small bowl.
Layer all ingredients in two parfait glasses.

Calories: 208  Total fat: 1.7g Cholesterol: 3.3g Total Carbs: 40.8g. Dietary fiber: 3.8g  Protein: 8.4g

Monday, November 10, 2014

Seasoning Salt



     I like to make as many things from scratch that I can and this is super easy and very versatile seasoning salt.  It's just nice to be able to make up things like this at home knowing that it does not contain any extra preservatives plus it saves money too! So that's a win win. This is great on veggies, chicken, seafood, and really anything that needs a little flavor added to it.                                             
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Ingredients
4 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch of ginger

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Peanut Butter and Banana Oats



 This is another overnight oats recipe that is very filling and makes a great healthy way to start the day off right.  I have recently started using chia seeds and trying out many different recipes.  This is a combination of couple different recipes that I came across and put together.  My kids liked this one alot too. I drizzled a little maple syrup over the top and also sprinkled some cinnamon on it.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cinnamon Vanilla Granola






Making granola from scratch is so much healthier than store bought kinds.  And as an added bonus this will make your house smell amazing while this is baking!  If you like your granola to clump together you can add more maple syrup to get the desired consistency.  This makes a great tasting cereal or sprinkled over yogurt and parfaits. 
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Ingredients:

5 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or a little more if you desire a clumpier granola)
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins 
 
Directions:
1.  Combine oats, pecans and wheat germ in a large bowl. Combine maple syrup, applesauce, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Pour over oat mixture, stirring to coat. Spread mixture evenly on greased baking sheet. 
2.  Bake at 300 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until oats are toasted.
3.  Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit. Cool in pan on wire rack. Store in airtight container.


Nutrition Facts
 12 Servings

Amount Per Serving
  Calories     251.5
  Total Fat     9.9 g
  Cholesterol     0.0 mg
  Sodium     2.0 mg
  Total Carbohydrate     37.2 g
          Dietary Fiber     5.1 g
          Sugars     11.3 g
  Protein     5.9 g
 

 
 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Chia Seed Pudding



Here is a healthy delicious recipe that incorporates chia seeds and fresh strawberries together.  Lots of healthy fiber and protein in a creamy vanilla flavored pudding.  This is slightly sweetened with pure maple syrup but that could be reduced or left out completely to lower glucose levels.  

Here are some interesting facts about the nutritional value of chia seeds:
  • have more Omega 3 fatty acids than flax seed (important for heart health)
  • are the richest non-marine whole food source of Omega-3 (better than salmon)
  • absorb 10 times their weight in water and transform into a gel-like substance--great for athletes for maintaining hydration and helps with weight loss by making you feel full longer
  • are as high in protein as quinoa
  • are loaded with calcium, potassium, Vitamin B, and anti-oxidants
  • help balance blood sugar via the gelling action of the seed and it’s unique combination of soluble and insoluble fiber that slow down your body’s conversion of starches into sugars 
  • have a neutral taste so they will take on the other flavors in a recipe
  • can be eaten whole (unlike flax seed); they don't have to be ground before adding them to food in order to digest them and benefit from their nutrients
  • have a two year shelf life, stored at room temperature (flax seeds quickly become rancid and lose their nutritional value)

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Ingredients:
1 cup vanilla flavored almond milk
1 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
4 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1/4 cup almond slivers

Directions:
1. Whisk almond milk, yogurt, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, vanilla and salt together in a bowl until blended; add chia seeds and mix together.  Let this mixture set for 30 minutes.
2.  Stir the chia seed mixture to redistribute seeds that have settled throughout the mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours to overnight.
3.   Drizzle 4 teaspoons maple syrup over strawberries in a bowl; stir to coat. Add almonds to strawberries; stir.
4.  Spoon chia seed mixture into 4 bowls; top each with a portion of the strawberry mixture.

Calories    243k                                                       
Carbohydrates    38.2                                           
Fat   7.9g
Protein   7.1g
Cholesterol   <1mg
Fiber   5.9g
Sodium   159mg


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Peach Pie Overnight Oats



This is a healthy filling breakfast to start your day off right!  Letting this set overnight really thickens up the oats and makes it very filling.  I used fresh peaches and that made this taste amazing!  I mixed some peeled and diced peaches into the mixture and added some extra to the top.  Super yummy!  I recently bought some chia seeds and started using them the first time.  Chia seed are loaded with fiber and protein making them a great addition to this healthy breakfast.  Hope you enjoy!
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Ingredients:
2 cups oats
2 cups almond milk
2 peaches, peeled and diced
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1Tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg

Directions
Mix all ingredients together
Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
Top with more diced peaches, if desired.


Nutrition Facts:
4 servings
Calories 242
Total Fat  5.1 g
 Cholesterol 0.0mg
Sodium 75.8 mg
Potassium 204.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 44.9 g
Dietary Fiber7.0 g
Sugars 15.8 g
Protein 6.6 g

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Basil Butter

If your garden is overflowing with basil... this is a great way to use some up!  So easy to make and it really adds a lot of yummy flavor to veggies.  This tastes great on fresh corn on the cob, potatoes, bread, or whatever your heart desires.  Enjoy!
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Ingredients:
4 cloves garlic
15 leaves fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup butter

Directions:
Place garlic, basil, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the garlic is in small bits. Add the butter, and process just to mix together. Spoon into container, and refrigerate until firm.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mushroom Soup made from Scratch



Who knew that making mushroom soup from scratch could be so easy?  After making this I know I will never again buy those unhealthy cans of soup again.  I have made this recipe a couple of times now.  The first time I made this I sliced the mushrooms very thin first but found this wasn't really necessary.  I threw them in whole the next time and that saved a lot of time.   This can also be frozen and that makes it ideal to have on hand for recipes.  I freeze enough to equal a 10 ounce can ( about a cup and a half)  in small freezer bags and then when I am making a recipe that calls for a can of mushroom soup I can just pull it out of the freezer.  Just be sure to leave a little space in the baggie to allow it room to expand.  Or you can also use regular freezer containers to freeze them in.  Either way it makes it so handy to just pull them out and throw into any recipe that requires a can of cream of mushroom soup.
 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Low Carb Cheesy Broccoli Bites


 These yummy cheesy broccoli bites are low carb and also gluten free. Using almond meal keeps the carbs low and still tastes great.  Perfect for a snack or an appetizer.  I made these using frozen broccoli but I have also made these with fresh steamed broccoli in the past. Super good! Also a great way to get kids to eat their veggies.

Broccoli is such a super healthy veggie that is rich in fiber and loaded with vitamins.  Here is great site to visit called Well-beingsecrets.com  that lists all the health benefits of broccoli. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

No Carb Bread


These make a great substitution for regular bread when you are trying to cut down on carbs.  They may not taste exactly like bread but they are pretty darn close to the real thing.  I have made several batches of these now.  They seem to taste better the next day after being stored overnite in a sealed ziplock bag.  The texture becomes more bread-like and less crumbly.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cream Cheese Pickle Roll Ups


These tasty little snacks or appetizers are very easy peasy to make and and only need three ingredients. They are low carb and gluten-free as well.  They can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Asparagus Wrapped with Prosciutto



These are simple to make and taste delicious too!  This makes an impressive looking side dish or appetizer and it only requires a few ingredients.   Asparagus is packed with healthy nutrients and is low carb too.  These can be made up ahead of time and then put in the oven at the last minute. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cobb Salad



Making a restaurant-style Cobb salad is simple to do and tastes delicious too!  This salad is packed with protein that makes it very filling.  I like to use turkey bacon to make this healthier but regular bacon could also be used.  I also like to make this using a deli rotisserie chicken to save time.  Hope you enjoy this yummy salad!

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Ingredients:
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 3 cups chopped, cooked chicken meat
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3/4 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • Salad Dressing
Directions:
1.  Place eggs in a saucepan and cover completely with cold water. Bring water to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.
2.  Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
3.  Divide shredded lettuce among individual plates.
4.  Evenly divide and arrange chicken, eggs, tomatoes, cheese, bacon, avocado and green onions in a row on top of the lettuce.
5.  Drizzle with your favorite dressing and enjoy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tilapia with Asiago Cheese



Tilapia is low in calories and contains omega-3's making it an excellent choice for a delicious heart healthy meal.  Seafood in general tends to be high in important nutrients like magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron.  Tilapia is mild tasting as far as fish goes and it is relatively inexpensive.  Nutrition experts say you should eat fish 2-3 times a week.  This recipe is also low-carb as well.  So what are you waiting for?    Parmesan cheese can also be substituted for the Asiago cheese. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan Cheese


Asparagus is the nutritional start of spring.  The are a dieter's dream, with 12 large spears having only 45 calories and naturally low carb. They contain about 30 percent of the RDA of vitamin A and a generous amount of potassium to help prevent cancer, high blood pressure and stroke.  In addition, asparagus contains no cholesterol and virtually no fat, making it an excellent choice for those concerned about heart disease.  Plus it tastes great in this recipe.  What's not to love about that?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Cauliflower Pizza Crust


Cauliflower is a cancer fighting cruciferous vegetable that is loaded with vitamin c and fiber.  It is also low carb and with only 30 calories per cup it makes a great replacement for traditional pizza crust.  And it also tastes so good in this recipe you won't even miss the real thing! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites




These are easy to make and filled with healthy ingredients and they are perfect for a quick snack.  They have a nice pumpkin pie flavor and they are filled with fiber and vitamin A.  These can keep up to a week in the refrigerator. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Fantastic Ground Chicken Burgers



This is a recipe that I made recently that came out great! The ground chicken burger had just the right amount of spice and was not dry at all.  I made up a small batch of guacamole with the leftover mix to use as a topping for the burger.  

Cedar Planked Grilled Salmon



This is my favorite way to cook salmon on the grill.  Using the cedar plank really makes the difference by allowing the salmon to soak up the smokey flavors and also providing a platform to keep the salmon from falling apart.  Just be sure to use a clean untreated cedar plank.