Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Healthy Cooking Gadgets for your Christmas List

Healthy cooking and meal preparations do not have to be difficult tasks.  This year, I looked into some of the newest healthy gadgets that will make these processes easy!  If your plan for 2018 has a "get healthy" spin to it, I recommend adding one or two of these to your Christmas list-- many are on sale for the holidays!



Instant PotProgrammable Pressure Cooker
"It speeds up cooking by 2~6 times using up to 70% less energy, and, above all, produces nutritious healthy food in a convenient and consistent fashion."




Veggie Spiralizer
"Quickly makes fun, flavorful fruit and veggie “noodles” you can turn into healthy, satisfying meals. Make cucumber ribbons for a salad, sweet potato spaghetti, butternut squash fettuccine…there are endless options."



Air Fryer
"Cooks by circulating hot air around the food producing a crispy layer via the Maillard effect."



Induction cook plate
"Surface elements on an induction burner heat pots by using an electromagnetic field rather than radiant heat."
**heat quickly
"Magnetic—or more accurately, induction-capable—cookware is needed for induction to work. If a magnet strongly sticks to the bottom of a pot, it will work with an induction cooktop. Some stainless steel cookware is induction-capable, and some isn’t."


Guac-Lock Container
Guacamole storage container that "locks in freshness to prevent browning".
"Container doubles as a serving dish"
"Stores from 12oz. up to 24oz"



Food Huggers Reusable Silicone Food Savers
"Flexible silicone, and work like a charm to seal the cut edges of any similarly sized produce."



Reusable Meal Prep containers 10 pack

Fine print: This is not a sponsored post. I have not personally used the products listed here. There are other places to purchase these products, however I think we can all agree that Amazon is awesome.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

80--- Crock Pot Smokey Turkey Bean and Sweet Potato Soup



I know, I know.  You're still just trying to plan your Thanksgiving menu and haven't even thought about what to do with the leftovers.

But planning ahead is vital to a healthy lifestyle!

This delicious soup is the perfect place for your turkey leftovers.  It's super filling with all of the protein and fiber. The yams actually *dissolve* creating a sweet and thick broth.

You'll thank me on Friday.

Crock Pot Smokey Turkey, Bean, and Sweet Potato Soup
Serves 8

7-8 cups low sodium chicken broth (more will produce a thinner broth if desired)
20 oz bag of 15 or 16 bean soup mix (dried)- no seasoning packet required
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 medium yams, cubed
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 tsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 lb shredded or chopped turkey breast (cooked)
8 slices low sodium bacon

In a crock pot or slow cooker, combine all ingredients except for turkey and bacon.  Cook on high for 5 hours.

After 5 hours reduce the temperature to low and add turkey.  Cook bacon and crumble into small pieces.

Serve soup topped with one slice of crumbed bacon.

Nutrition info per 1 serving: 372 calories, 7 g fat, 44 g carbohydrates, 31 g protein, 23 g fiber

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Give the Gift of Pomora

I don't typically give specific products that I use a lot of focus on this blog.  But this is a special case.

We have been using Pomora Olive Oils in my house for several years now and I can honestly say that we could not live without them!

Bonus this time of year-- a subscription to having your olive oil from your adopted olive tree from Italy delivered to your door makes a GREAT gift.

Use code 8020XMAS25 for 25% off of the first quarter of adoption!





Pomora Olive Oils is a company that was created to give consumers more direct access to olive oils produced with more traditional methods to give a really great product.

How it works, is you "adopt" an olive tree from a farmer (in Italy).  You then receive quarterly shipments of the olive oil produced from that tree!

It's a really fun concept and give you the chance to incorporate something really special into your kitchen.

I do use olive oil frequently in my meal preparations (as I am sure you know).  It's a versatile oil with the health benefits of monounsaturated fats.  

I encourage you to give them a try-- or gift them to someone whom would really appreciate having their own oil-producing tree!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

80(ish)--- Caprese Chicken Burgers



We grill all year long.  It's such a healthy way to go!  However one can't help but feel like burger season is coming to an end when the leaves fall. 

This chicken burger is a perfect conclusion to your season if you're bidding your grill farewell until spring. And if you're keeping it lit all winter like us, well it still makes for a delicious meal.

Caprese Chicken Burgers
Serves 5

1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp plain bread crumbs
1/2 Tbsp basil-infused olive oil
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
5 oz fresh mozzarella
5 Tbsp pesto
1 1/2 cups chopped/sliced fresh tomatoes
5 whole grain burger buns

Combine all ingredients except for mozzarella, pesto, buns and tomatoes in a bowl.  Use your hands to combine ingredients evenly.

On a parchment-paper lined baking sheet form five patties from half of the chicken mixture.  On each patty lay 1 oz fresh mozzarella.  Form five additional burger patties from the remaining mixture and lay each on top of the mozzarella slices.  Seal the edges of the burger with your fingers.  

Place the baking sheet in the freezer for one hour (vital for burgers holding up on the grill).

Heat grill to medium-high heat, then spray with cooking spray.  Place semi-frozen burgers on the grill and cook for 8-12 minutes each side, or until internal temperature of the meat reaches 160 degrees.

Serve burgers on a whole grain bun, topped with 1 Tbsp pesto and chopped fresh tomatoes.  Enjoy!

Nutrition Info per 1 burger with toppings (no bun): 374 calories, 25 g fat, 31 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Butternut Squash Spotlight

Tis the time of year when pumpkin gets all the attention.

There's pumpkin drinks, cereals, snacks, breads, cakes, chips.....you name it and it's out there.

Butternut squash is in season this time of year too! Why doesn't it get some spotlight?  It's full of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.  It's an antioxidant powerhouse!

Here's a few recipes just to give you some ideas on what butternut is capable of:













Saturday, September 16, 2017

80--- Overnight Breakfast Brown Rice Pudding



With this recipe you can now have rice pudding for breakfast.   It's creamy and filling, and a little bit sweet. The combination of high fiber brown rice, raisins, and high protein Greek yogurt will keep you fuller longer! It's a great way to use up those brown rice leftovers from your healthy dinner the night before.

Overnight Breakfast Brown Rice Pudding
Serves 1

2/3 cup cooked short grain brown rice
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
1 1/2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 oz raisins
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, stir and serve!

Nutrition info per 1 serving: 374 calories, 1 g fat, 19 g protein, 78 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 60 mg sodium

Friday, September 1, 2017

80--- Lemon Pepperoncini {Banana Pepper} Hummus



Hummus can be a great snack food, or a healthy addition to a wrap or sandwich.  Store-bought versions tend to be a bit higher in fat and sodium, and making your own is SO easy!  You can mix and match different flavors to experiment too.  

Also check out my Coconut Curry Hummus, Almond Hummus, and JalapeƱo Cilantro Hummus.  

For meal and snack ideas, click to see my Mediterranean Six Layer Dip, Veggie, Hummus, and Wild Rice Freezer Burritos, and Hummus-Stuffed Deviled Eggs.

And now for one of my new favorite hummus recipes: 

Lemon Pepperoncini Hummus
Makes 2 cups

1 can no salt added garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp tahini
1/3 cup chopped white onion
3/4 cup pickled pepperoncini peppers
Juice and zest from one lemon
1 Tbsp good quality olive oil, Pomora is my go-to
1/2 tsp salt
Dash ground white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Mix until a smooth puree is formed.

Refrigerate for up to 5 days, covered.  When serving, garnish with pepperoncini pepper rings.

Nutrition Info per 1/4 cup: 67 calories, 4 g fat, 3 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 170 mg sodium