Featured Post

Whole Wheat and Oatmeal Pancakes

I make these on a regular basis, because my kids like pancakes, and I like to make them- especially when I can make them healthy! So, try th...

Friday, November 10, 2017

Thanksgiving Slaw- A twist on Tradition

Thanksgiving Slaw


Last night I organized my first "Healthy Habits Recipe Group" since our move to Utah. I held a couple of recipe groups in Oregon, but it struggled to take flight because all of my focus went to my adjustment to a new baby with different needs. I'm totally fine with that. And since I am pursuing the path of Health Coach and Personal Trainer here in Utah, I thought this would be my chance to begin again. Two friends came... who I am very thankful for, by the way! We had a great time, and it gave me a chance to start small, to make it personal and special. One step at a time, right?

We had a lot of dishes to sample! Some were better than others, which is a good thing to learn BEFORE the actual Thanksgiving meal, so I'm okay with that. The one that stood out- probably because even my daughter, who has become a picky eater, loved it (it was because of her that I made the recipe TWICE! And my sister in-law, who loves her bagged salad, loved this recipe. Thanks be to these ladies who helped me feel that this night was a success! Contrary to what may be popular belief, cabbage is a "thermogenic" food, which means because of it's water content, and cruciferous nature, your body burns more calories than you consume when eating it. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C (if you're trying to prevent colds and strengthen your immune system), folate (for the expectant mothers out there) and fiber for healthy digestion, just to name a few.

So, I gladly share this recipe with you. I will give full credit to the team over at The Kitchn. They have a plethora of healthy recipes and ideas for home decorating and organization. So, hop on over there if you want something you don't find here. As good as it is, I can't help but change the recipes to my liking. So this is my version. It's only slightly modified. Please tell me what you think! It's a new twist on Thanksgiving tradition: the tradition of iceberg lettuce as salad, and canned corn as a vegetable. This just has to stop....

Just try this. You'll be pleasantly surprised. 

Salad Ingredients:

1/2 head green cabbage

1/2 head red cabbage

1 C. shredded carrots (use your peeler if you don't have a spiralizer or julienne peeler
3/4 c. roasted sliced almonds (optional- we left them out)

1/2 c. Craisins (the original calls for dried cranberries, but Craisins are probably something you have in your pantry!)

3/4 C. Fresh parsley, roughly chopped (don't leave this out!)

Dressing:

1/3 C. Apple cider vinegar (not all vinegars are created equal- try using a raw, unfiltered vinegar for best flavor, and health benefits!)

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. plain yogurt (greek or traditional, both are equally good!)

1/2. chopped red onion- optional (this gives a spicy kick to your salad, so leave it out if you want a more mild, tangy taste!)

2/3 C. olive oil

Mix vinegar, mustard, salt and onion together in a deep measuring dish. while whisking (I used my immersion blender- like this one here. It's a must for any homemade dressing or condiment!) add the oil slowly. This will thicken the dressing, help the flavors to marry, and all of the ingredients to coalesce. 

Add about 75% of the dressing to the salad. Toss and then determine if you need the rest. I have had remaining dressing every time I have made this!

This salad can sit at room temperature without wilting, and overnight in the refrigerator without losing it's crunch which makes it a great make-ahead dish for your Thanksgiving meal! Tell me what you think! Will you make this for your next Thanksgiving or family get-together? What did you think? Leave your comments and suggestions below!

Enjoy!

Healthy, happy eating!

Amy




Wednesday, November 1, 2017

HALLOWEEN SPECIAL! Quinoa Stuffed Peppers and "Skully" Guacamole


I am so excited to share a new recipe with you! I must admit, these ideas were not my own. I can fully admit that I get most of my ideas for Pinterest. I honestly don't know where I would be without it! I wish I was more creative, but then again, aren't we here on Earth to help each other? So, thank you, creative minds on Pinterest!

These peppers were so easy- I procrastinated dinner because I thought it would be a lot of work and I was feeling slightly overwhelmed. And since waiting to do something makes it SO much better, right? Wait. It doesn't?!
Well, I pulled up my big girl panties and got to work... and it was FUN! The faces are easily cut into the peppers with a small pairing knife, and the filling was fast. Then bake 30 minutes and WALA! You have a healthy, tasty Halloween meal.
Ready for the filling recipe?

4- 5 Orange Peppers
1 cup cooked Quinoa
1 lb. extra lean organic ground beef (this is optional, but if you omit it, add 1 cup beans, your choice, or 1 more cup of cooked quinoa)
1 can organic diced tomatoes
1/4 c. organic tomato paste
1/2 C. Organic frozen corn
1/2 tsp. onion powder, or 1 small onion
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 Tbsp. Oil- like coconut oil, which is best when sauteeing
1 tsp. Cumin
1tsp. Chili Powder
1 tsp. Garlic powder, or 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt- any natural sea salt
1/2 C. Cheese of your choice

Brown beef if adding to your filling. Brown and drain. If not, Add oil to a large skillet and allow it to melt. Add onion, carrot and celery, and saute until cooked but still slightly firm. Add spices and stir. Add tomatoes and paste and stir until combined. Add quinoa, corn and beef (or beans) to mixture.

Scoop by spoonfuls into your carved peppers- tops removed for easiest access! Stuff as full as the pepper will allow. You will most likely have leftover filling (makes a great hash with eggs for breakfast the next day!). Top with cheese if desired, and place in a glass baking dish. Give the peppers space. Cover and bake @ 350 for 25 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 5 minutes uncovered. The peppers will still be slightly crunchy, but soft and juicy. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

What did you serve for your Halloween dinner? Have a healthy recipe to share? Please do!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Homemade Hand Soap

This is a very basic recipe for liquid hand soap that I received from a friend. Thank you, Anna Frost!
I am going to try my hand at foaming hand wash and then share it with you, but until then, here it what I do for our hand soap at home. It is ridiculously inexpensive, and if you have any essential oils or personal touches you like to add, then it truly becomes your own.
Enjoy this recipe, and tell me what you do to improve or enhance it!

Liquid Hand Soap

1 bar of natural soap (like Ivory or J&J's natural bars)
1 gallon water

Grate 1 bar of soap into 1 gallon of water. Heat on stovetop, stirring occasionally until soap has dissolved. Cover and let sit for 24 hours. Add 40-50 drops of essential oils, if desired. Afterwards, use an immersion blender and mix until you have an even consistency. Store until ready to use, or pour into dispensable bottles, and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Party On! Spinach Artichoke Dip- with white beans!

I wanted to make a spinach artichoke dip for Christmas day since we were going to a friend's house for dinner, but my friend has a very restrictive diet, and I couldn't bear to make a dip with store-bought mayonnaise; so I re-vamped a recipe, and I am happy to say that it was a WICKED hit with my kids, and husband. So, I thought I would share it with you, just in time for 2014:

Spinach Artichoke Dip with White Beans
2 cloves garlic
1/2- 3/4tsp. salt
3 C. white beans, cooked
4 c. spinach, washed
1 can Artichoke hearts, in water
1/4-1/3 c. cream cheese
1/2 c. parmesan cheese Olive oil, and water for consistency and taste

Soak and cook beans according to package directions. Add garlic and salt to food processor, and process until minced. Add spinach and process again until chopped small. Add beans, artichokes, and a few drizzles of olive oil, and process until ingredients are combined. If needed, add some water until you reach a creamy consistency. Now for the secret ingredient: add cream cheese, and parmesan cheese until combined. Taste... enjoy! Add more salt if needed; but not too much! Tell me what you think! (I'm sorry, I would have posted pictures, but my computer was being stupid!)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sprouted Quinoa with Sundried Tomatoes, Bacon and Feta

I discovered this delicious combination tonight as I was searching my kitchen as usual, wondering what in the world to make for dinner- or I should say, how to make it tasteful enough for everyone to enjoy it. First, we have my wonderfully patient, and always complimentary husband, Sam, who will eat anything I cook (no matter what it might look like- he's such a good sport!), especially so the kids will eat it. Gary, I'm not worried about. The four year old who used to be our pickiest eater, is now our most willing taste-tester, and exotic food connoiseur. Gracie, however, has gone from the girl who eats anything, to the girl who won't touch it, even if she likes all of the ingredients, if it doesn't look good. And Nicole, who is very vocal, and very opinionated when it comes to something she doesn't think she'll like. So, as you can see, it causes me a little bit of stress if I don't have a meal I am absolutely sure they will love and devour! Well, tonight I had some ingredients on hand that I knew they would eat, so I thought I would try them together- and it worked! Simple, and quick, this meal takes just a little bit of preparation, but is well worth your time. At least, that's what I think. You'll have to make it and tell me what you think! So, this is what you need: 1 1/2 c. Quinoa, sprouted (This is easy, I promise! Just pour your measured Quinoa into a glass jar or bowl the night before, add a Tablespoon of plain yogurt- or the whey from it- and soak it overnight. In the morning, rinse and drain your quinoa, and by the time you are ready to cook it, it will have sprouted- growing cute little tails. Congratulations! You have literally turned this nutritional little seed into a vegetable!) 3-4 sun-dried tomato halves, chopped 1 Tbsp. Bacon fat, from uncured, natural bacon - the less chemicals, nitrates, and preservatives, the better! 1/2 small onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsp. dried parsley 1/2 tsp. salt, to taste Feta cheese, to top. After sprouting the quinoa, add to a small pot of boiling water, and cook for 5-10 minutes, until quinoa is soft and chewy, but not mushy. Drain quinoa and set aside. Add bacon fat to a skillet. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, then add garlic, tomato, and remaining spices. Add quinoa, and 1-2 Tbsp. of water to create some steam. Cover and cook about 5 more minutes until ingredients are combined. Remove from heat. Top with cheese and serve. Serves 5-6 So, what did you think? Would you make any modifications?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Black Eyed Pea Dip/ Salad

I found this recipe, which calls for it to be used more as a salsa-like dip, but I turned it into a salad- and it's fantastic! Use it however you wish. I hope you enjoy it too!

                                                         Black Eyed Pea Dip/ Salad

Ingredients:
1 c. black eyed peas
2 small avocados, diced
2 roma or vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1/2 sweet onion, grated

dressing:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Place peas in a glass jar, and soak in water, 8-12 hours, or overnight. Drain, rinse, and allow them to sit for another 8-12 hours. Rinse, drain. Another few hours and you will begin to see the peas growing sprouts. Rinse them again, place in your crockpot or large pot with water, and cook- 6-8 hours in crockpot, or 1 1/2 hours on your stovetop.

Add all ingredients to bowl, toss, and chill for about 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cawliflower, Bean, and Bacon salad with Red Onion- Grain free, and Kid Friendly!

Gracie and I LOVE this salad because it is reminiscent of our family's favorite potato salad that is vinegar and not mayonnaise -based. This is a rough re-make because I'm going off of taste alone. Hope you like it!

Ingredients:

1 head cawliflower, washed, florets cut into bite-sized pieces
4-5 strips of bacon, cooked to your liking- the crispier, the better for us!
1 C. or a large handful of Fresh or frozen string beans, thawed (not cooked) or lightly steamed if fresh (you still want the crunchiness to be present).
1/2 red onion, sliced into thin rounds

Steam cawliflower for about 5-6 minutes, so that it is just soft enough for a fork to pierce through, but not soggy. Drain and dry, and place in a large mixing bowl. Chop slices of bacon into bite-sized pieces, evenly distributed through the salad. Slice beans in half, and add to other ingredients. Add onion slices last, then drizzle with dressing and allow to chill for 30 minutes or so before eating.

Dressing:

Up to 1/4 c. white wine vinegar (not regular white vinegar; that's made from corn. Treat yourself to the real stuff)
2 Tbsp. bacon drippings/ grease
salt and pepper to taste


Simple, yet tasteful. And the fat IS good for you. It will allow your body to absorb all the nutrients from the delicious vegetables you are eating. Please remember that, and enjoy eating it. :-)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Soaked Oatmeal

I know it seems funny to post a recipe that consists of just rolled oats, fruit and natural sweetener, but that's what makes this so powerful, and beautiful. Soaking your oats is like soaking any other grain, seed or flour. It releases the phytic acid which then allows your body to fully absorb the vitamins and minerals that are yours for the taking. Soaking also increases the protein and fiber content. Interesting huh? Try it once, and see if you are not hooked.
*Here's a basic recipe:
1 Cup rolled oats
1 Cup (use your own good judgment and use just enough to soak the oats- not make them float around separately) kefir, buttermilk, or water with 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar.
Soak overnight. In the morning, combine oats and 1 cup of milk or water in a saucepan. Add flaxseeds, or raisins, and up to 1/4c. real maple syrup. Cook on med-low until creamy. Remove from heat. Enjoy with a topping of soaked walnuts or a sprinkle of brown sugar. Enjoy!

*If you find you have LOTS of extra oatmeal, and you want to change it up a little, try this:
Heat skillet or griddle on med-high heat. In a mixing bowl, beat 2-3 eggs. Add 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Add your already cooked oatmeal. Pour onto skillet in small pancake form. Flip when bottoms of cakes begin to brown and curl up. Enjoy with a little drizzle of maple syrup. DELICIOUS! 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna Rolls

A recipe I created tonight after seeing a similar one on allrecipes.com. This is a little healthier and SO TASTY!
I hope you enjoy it!

6 whole wheat lasagna noodles
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 oz. neufchatel cheese (the less expensive and tastier version of cream cheese)
1 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
2-4 c. spinach, washed, and chopped fine in food processor (more or less according to personal preference)
1/2 onion, diced, or 2 T. onion powder
1 can chicken breast in water (opt.)
1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions. Combine all ingredients except crushed tomatoes in separate bowl. Set aside. Spoon in a little bit of the tomatoes on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Take each noodle, lie it in the pan, and spoon in some of the ricotta mixture and spread it evenly along each noodle. Carefully roll the noodle up and lie finished end on the bottom. Fill all noodles, cover with remaining tomatoes, and top with sprinkles of mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through. Enjoy!

Power Fruit Smoothie

It's been forever since I have posted something, but we loving New York City, and are enjoying the creative ways to cook here.
We bought some bananas and a mango while walking home one day, and decided to make a smoothie. Who knew it would be SO DELICIOUS! It was as if I was suddenly on a tropical island, and I enjoyed every moment of it! :-) So, in hopes of you getting to spend a moment on a tropical island and enjoy life, I'm sharing our creation with you now-
Ingredients:
1 Mango, peeled and cut off from pith
1 banana, peeled
1 apple, peeled and de-cored
1 cup non-fat, plain yogurt- I used greek yogurt
1/4c. coconut milk
ice or water to desired consistency

Combine all ingredients in blender, leaving ice for the last. Blend until smooth, adding water until desired consistency. Then add ice and blend until no large ice chunks remain. Share this with someone, and enjoy!