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

Saturday, August 5, 2017

80--- Sun Dried Tomato Italian Salsa

Salsa is a summer (ok anytime) staple.  It also makes for a great low-calorie flavor booster for any meal or snack.

This Italian version is easy to whip up and will be sure to please.  It's delicious as a baked potato topping, on top of your favorite grilled meat or fish, or served with pita triangles or flatbread as an appetizer.

Sun Dried Tomato Italian Salsa
Makes 2 1/2 cups

1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 can Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
3 oz sun-dried tomatoes (dried- not in oil), soaked in water for 1 hour to soften
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less depending on spice preference)
Dash ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until a puree is formed.  Place in a covered container in the refrigerator for 2 hours prior to serving.

Nutrition Info per 1/4 cup: 29 calories, 1 g fat, 1 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 140 mg sodium

Saturday, July 15, 2017

80(ish)--- Summer Taco Pizza

Who doesn't love a taco pizza? But in summer when it's too hot to cook it may not be that appealing. 

This pizza uses chilled ingredients (except for the crust) for that perfect summer pizza fix!

Summer Taco Pizza
Serves 4

20 oz pizza dough, baked per instructions (check out my wheat and honey crust here)
1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
1/2 cup salsa of your choice
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 lb ground turkey, cooked
Taco seasoning (my favorite mix here)
2 cups shredded lettuce or spinach
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup chopped tomatoes

Spray a nonstick pan with olive oil, then heat over medium high heat.  Add onions and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add ground turkey and cook thoroughly.  Add taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water.  Heat through and stir until meat is coated with seasoning. Remove from heat and set aside.


In a small bowl, combine salsa, yogurt, cumin, and salt.  Layer the mixture onto your baked pizza crust.  Top with ground turkey mixture, then tomatoes, lettuce, and cilantro.  Serve immediately.

Nutrition Info per 1/4 pizza: 470 calories, 15 g fat, 39 g protein, 42 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber

Monday, June 5, 2017

20(ish)--- Chickpea Almond Joy Cookies {Grain-Free, Dairy-Free}

For those folks who are following a grain-free lifestyle- this one's for you (these are also cane sugar-free and dairy-free).

Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) form the base of these cookies, which adds a healthy dose of fiber!  Make note that these do not set up like a typical cookie, but the flavor is amazing (no, you don't taste the beans).

Almond Joy Cookies
Makes ~2 dozen cookies

1 can (15 1/2 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup almond butter
3 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips (use full size chips if you cannot find mini)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Place garbanzo beans, almond butter, honey, baking powder, and almond extract into a food processor. Puree until smooth.  Scoop mixture into a medium bowl.  Mix in coconut and dark chocolate chips until well combined.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats.  Scoop ~ 2 Tbsp balls onto the baking sheet, spreading them a few inches apart.  Bake for ~10 minutes, or until set (will still be soft). 

Transfer to a cooling rack to cool entirely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature (will keep for 5-7 days).

Nutrition Info per 1 cookie: 113 calories, 7 g fat, 10 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 3 g fiber

Sunday, May 21, 2017

80--- Crispy Chickpea and Roasted Vegetable Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce {Sheet Pan Dinner}



During the warmer summer months we tend to allow less time for dinner prep to allow for more time outside.  This sheet pan dinner is just the ticket for a quick and healthy summer meal that uses some of those spring vegetables from the garden!

Crispy Chickpea and Roasted Vegetable Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce
Serves 4

1 can no or low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tsp olive oil, divided
1 medium zucchini, chopped into 1/2 " pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
5 radishes, chopped
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
8 corn tortillas

Seasoning Mix
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried cilantro
1/2 tsp paprika

Creamy Avocado Sauce
1 avocado
Juice from one lemon
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp Mexican sour cream
1/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  

Combine all seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.  Divide mixture into two portions.  Place chickpeas into a bowl, and toss with 1 tsp olive oil and half of the seasoning mixture.  Add 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder and toss to coat.  

Add chopped zucchini, red pepper, red onion, and radishes to a bowl.  Add remaining 2 tsp olive oil and remainder of the seasoning mixture. Toss to coat.

Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.  Spread chickpeas on one pan, and vegetable mixture on another.  Bake for 20 minutes, stirring each pan once halfway through cooking. 

While chickpeas and vegetables are roasting, prepare the creamy avocado sauce.

Serve each corn tortilla topped with chickpeas and vegetables, then dolloped with avocado sauce.

Nutrition Info per taco: 323 calories, 6 g fat, 13 g protein, 58 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber

Saturday, April 22, 2017

80--- Grilled Shishito Peppers with Sriracha Greek Yogurt Dip



It's getting close to barbecue season!  Are you the person who always defaults to bringing a veggie tray? Not a bad move, but this is your year to switch it up with this EASY and CROWD-WOWING appetizer.



Grilled Shishito Peppers
Serves 4

8 oz shishito peppers, rinsed and dried
1 tsp olive oil (I always use a good quality oil like Pomora- for extra spice use their pepper oil)
Dash of sea salt

Preheat your grill to high heat.  Place peppers in a grill pan and toss with olive oil and salt.  Grill over high heat for ~4-5 minutes, then toss pan to flip peppers, grilling for an additional 4 minutes or until a small bit of char is present on each side of the pepper.  

Remove from heat and serve!



Sriracha Greek Yogurt Dip
Makes ~1/2 cup

1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp mayo
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour prior to serving.  Serve as a dip to the peppers.

Nutrition info per ~9 peppers and 2 Tbsp dip: 78 calories, 4 g fat, 4 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber

Friday, April 7, 2017

80--- Cinnamon Sweet Potato (Yam) Pancakes

My family knows that I really dislike throwing away food.  I use leftovers whenever possible! That's how these pancakes came to be.  

Use your leftover Easter yams with this easy to please breakfast dish that's high in fiber, vitamin A, and potassium.

Cinnamon Sweet Potato (Yam) Pancakes
Makes ~ 8 pancakes (4")

2 medium baked sweet potatoes or yams, skinned, mashed well
4 eggs
2 Tbsp flour (substitute GF flour if needed)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Spoon 3-4 Tbsp batter onto the skillet and allow to cook through for ~4-5 minutes on each side.

Top with pure maple syrup and a bit of butter if you desire!

Nutrition info per 2 pancakes: 237 calories, 5 g fat, 4 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 7 g protein

Sunday, February 26, 2017

80--- Avocado Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip



You're not alone.

Raw veggies go down a bit easier with dip.

The good news?

This dip can be a good way to get some protein and healthy fats in too.  

Avocado Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip
Makes ~12 oz

1 ripe avocado
5 Tbsp nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery salt
1 tsp dried chives
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Dash ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a small food processor and blend until a smooth puree is formed. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition info per 2 Tbsp: 103 calories, 4 g fat, 5 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 106 mg sodium


Monday, February 6, 2017

What I'm Eating Now......

You may have noticed that I've been AWOL a bit.  Sorry about that-- I'm just giving a bit more focus to my wee babes (ages 4 and 1).  That leaves a bit less time for healthy recipe creation.  

However I'm still planning my family's meals every week (future post to come soon on that) and using some of my tried and true recipes in that process!

I am often asked by patients "What do you eat?".  So I thought that I would share some of my favorite recipes that my family and I eat often!

(I have this nearly daily for lunch at the moment)



These are made with Greek yogurt-- I also use Kodiak Cakes mix on occasion


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Healthified Super Bowl Line-Up

The big game is coming up! What will you be serving?  If you've made an effort to make some healthier changes, don't sabotage yourself by offering the same chips and queso that you typically go for.  Make a few healthier substitutions and give yourself the advantage! And the bonus? Your guests won't mind a bit because these recipes still pack in the flavor without the guilt.






Thursday, January 12, 2017

80--- Chimichurri Sauce



Have you made some healthy changes in the New Year?  Fantastic!

Occasionally when we start a healthier eating plan, we can find ourselves getting into a rut with our food choices.

What's the solution? Find ways to beat the boredom with some new recipes!

Looking for a tasty way to jazz up that otherwise boring grilled chicken breast or steamed veggies? 

Chimichurri is your answer.  This sauce is a blending of herbs, onion, vinegar, and oil, to form a pureed spread.  It's fantastic on everything.  Check it out in my Chimichurri Butter Bean Salad too!

Chimichurri
Makes ~ 1 cup

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup vegetable oil (olive oil will solidify when refrigerated, which is fine- just FYI)
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
Dash ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small food processor.  Chop until a course puree is formed.  Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use.  Will keep in refrigerator for ~ 1 week in a covered container.

Nutriton info per 2 Tbsp: 65 calories, 6 g fat, 0 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 70 mg sodium

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Teeny Tiny Resolution Tip {Repost from 2015}

It's that time again!  Resolution season.  If the first day of 2017 seems like a good time for you to set forth with a new goal, go for it!

My tip for you in setting a resolution?

Think small.

Actually, the smaller the better.

Why?

Because reachable goals will keep your momentum moving forward.

Example?

In 2017 I want to lose 40 lbs
vs.
I would like to lose 4 lbs by February 1st.

Losing 40 lbs is a HUGE goal! You may be tempted to "give up" on your goal if you do not see it approaching soon enough. But 4 lbs? It seems much more do-able, don't you think? And when you reach that goal..... you will set another..... and another.... and before you know it- you will have lost those 40lbs!


Another example?

I want to exercise five times per week in 2017.
vs.
I want to exercise 100 minutes per week by February 1st.

Those 100 minutes per week will turn into 300 minutes per week before you know it- with small, short-term goal setting!


So instead of a New Year's Resolution.... how about a January resolution?  To be followed by a February resolution. So on and so forth.  Each month is a new opportunity to improve.