Wednesday, December 2, 2020

80 (ish)--- Sweet Potato Tahini Dip


Much like my Green Bean Casserole Dip, this recipe was created with the idea that although you may want all of the traditional holiday dishes at your celebratory meal, it typically ends up being too much food (and excessive amounts of leftovers).  By creating these dishes as appetizers, you can eat them as a light lunch or snack, and save room on the table for the absolute essentials {noted everyone's absolute essentials are different}.

Sweet potatoes are a wonderful low-glycemic starch with lots of vitamins and minerals, and when blended with the healthy fats in tahini, you get a creamy delicious treat! I served mine with Stacey's Cinnamon and Sugar Pita Chips for an extra "wink" at the holidays!

Sweet Potato Tahini Dip

Serves 8

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1" pieces

1/2 Tbsp olive oil

Sprinkle sea salt

3 Tbsp tahini

1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potato cubes with olive oil and spread on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until soft.

Place sweet potatoes, tahini, and maple syrup in a large food processor and blend until a smooth puree is formed.  Season with sea salt if desired.

In a small nonstick skillet, toast chopped pecans over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. When pecans are fragrant, they are toasted.

Transfer sweet potato mixture to a serving bowl and sprinkle with pecans. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, then serve chilled.

Nutrition Info per ~ 4 Tbsp: 117 calories, 4 g fat, 17 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 2 g fiber

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

80--- Bison, Beet, and Black Bean Chili

 The color of this rich, meaty chili is something to be seen! I love beets and they add so much delicious texture, flavor, and nutrition to a chili.  Beets contain two special antioxidants, betanin and vulgaxanthin, which may have detoxifying effects!

Bison, Beet, and Black Bean Chili

Serves 6

4 large beets, peeled and chopped into 1" cubes
1/2 large red onion, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 lb ground bison, browned and crumbled
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
14 oz no salt added tomato sauce
2 cups low sodium beef broth
2 oz dry red wine
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp chili powder (I used a combination of chipotle and ancho)
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp lite Tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp agave

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low, 4 hours on high.  Serve garnished with parsley and crumbled cojita cheese, if desired.

Nutrition info per 1 serving: 300 calories, 8 g fat, 22 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

80--- Chicken Satay Dip

Every once in a while I make a dish that my husband claims is his new favorite. That's how I know that it's really blog worthy! This is one of those.

This Chicken Satay Dip can be made ahead, then reheated in the oven (or over a campfire), making it an easy meal for a gathering.  It's loaded with healthy protein and veggies, and that peanut sauce is simple yet delicious.

Chicken Satay Dip
Serves 4

1 1/2 lb lean ground chicken
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 head baby bok choy, chopped finely
12 oz shredded carrots, pulsed until fine in food processor (or chop with a knife)
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
3 oz feta cheese (optional)
3 large green onions, sliced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1/3 cup powdered peanut butter (PB2 or PBfit)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce if you prefer)
2 tsp sriracha, or more for added spice
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp minced ginger
4 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt
Dash ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large oven-proof skillet, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat.  Add ground chicken saute, using your spatula to finely chop as it cooks, until it is cooked through.  Add in chopped vegetables, reduce heat to medium and saute until vegetables are softened.

Mix together sauce ingredients, whisking (or shaking in a jar) until combined.  Stir sauce into cooked mixture, then top with feta cheese if desired.

Place skillet into the preheated oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until mixture is bubbly.  Remove from oven, top with green onion, chopped cilantro, and additional hot sauce if desired.  

Serve with naan, pitas, or your favorite flatbread crackers for dipping!

Nutrition info per 1/4 skillet: 351 calories, 18 g fat, 44 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 6.5 g fiber

Friday, June 12, 2020

80--- Buffalo Cauliflower Salad

Think traditional potato salad, sub cauliflower, add in hot wing sauce.  Sound amazing? It absolutely is.  And it's lower carb, full of fiber, and has a nice extra KICK.

Buffalo Cauliflower Salad
Serves 4

3 lb fresh cauliflower florets, chopped into 1-1 1/2 " pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Frank's hot sauce (or other buffalo wing sauce of your choice), divided
Dash sea salt
3 oz shredded carrots, chopped finely
1 small shallot, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 Tbsp mayo (I used lite)
3 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Dashes salt and ground black pepper
Crumbled blue cheese to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place cauliflower florets in a large mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, 4 Tbsp Frank's hot sauce, and salt.  Transfer florets to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden and soft (not mushy).

Transfer cauliflower back to the mixing bowl and refrigerate until chilled, ~2 hours. 

After cauliflower is chilled, combine with carrots, shallot, and celery.  Mix together mayo, yogurt, remaining 4 Tbsp Frank's hot sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over vegetables and mix gently.  Cover and refrigerate for ~20 minutes prior to serving.  Garnish with crumbled blue cheese and additional hot sauce if desired!

Nutrition info per 1 (large) serving: 153 calories, 8.5 g protein, 5.5 g fat, 23 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber

Friday, May 29, 2020

80--- Lemon Piccata Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is one of those easy meals to prep ahead of time for lunches out and about {think camping, boat days, etc}.  This recipe is a nice twist on the typical.  If you love Italian chicken piccata with briney capers and fresh lemon, this will be your jam.  And it's healthy to boot- with lots of lean protein.

Lemon Piccata Chicken Salad
Serves 6

Marinated Chicken
2 lb uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped into 1/2" cubes (you may also use precooked or leftover chicken, shredded or chopped but you will skip the marinating step)
1 tsp all purpose chicken seasoning 
1 tsp True Lemon seasoning (or 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice)
Ground black pepper
2 Tbsp minced garlic

Chicken Salad
2 Tbsp mayo (I used lite)
4 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt
Zest from one medium lemon
Juice from one medium lemon
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp capers, drained
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Ground black pepper to taste

Place chicken and marinate ingredients into a large ziploc bag and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken and saute to cook until cooked through and lightly browned.  Remove from heat and place into a large mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled, ~2 hours.

While chicken is cooling, combine remaining ingredients except for parsley in a small container and refrigerate.

To make salad, combine chilled chicken and dressing ingredients and stir to coat.  Add parsley, stir gently, and serve immediately, with a side of crusty bread or ciabatta roll.  Garnish with additional capers, parsley, and ground black pepper if desired.

Nutrition info per 1 serving: 254 calories, 7 g fat, 43 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Memorial Day Burger Round-Up

Memorial Day officially kicks off burger-grilling season.  Here are a few healthy options that don't skimp on flavor!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Healthy Picnic Round-Up

With the current stay at home order, take a break from your dining room table and take your meals on an outside picnic!  Here are a few healthy and fun ideas that are easy to pack and easy to eat.

*with veggies or crackers for dipping of course

Thursday, February 27, 2020

80--- Beet Pad Thai

I love the glory that some less popular vegetables are getting now due to their miraculous ability to form beautiful noodles {I'm looking at you butternut squash and zucchini}.  Spiralized vegetables are a FUN way to incorporate them into filling, nutritious meals.  My local grocery store sells fresh beet noodles and I'm here for it!  Green Giant also sells spiralized beets in the frozen section if your store doesn't have fresh available.

If you don't love beets, substitute spiralized butternut squash or yams!

Beet Pad Thai {with Turkey}
Serves 4

2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 shallots, sliced
1 lb lean ground turkey
24 oz spiralized beets (may substitute yam noodles)
4 Tbsp powdered peanut butter (I used PB Fit)
6 Tbsp coconut aminos (may use low sodium soy sauce)
4 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp lime juice (I often use 1/4 tsp True Lime instead)
2 tsp Sriracha for heat, if desired
4 green onions, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced (optional)
Chopped peanuts, if desired

Combine powdered peanut butter, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, lime, and sriracha in a small bowl or jar and mix well to combine.  Set aside.

In a large skillet or dutch oven heat sesame oil over medium high heat.  Add shallots and saute until fragrant, 3-4 minutes.  Add ground turkey and saute until cooked through.  Stir in peanut sauce.

Place fresh spiraled beets into a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 5 minutes, until slightly softened.  Add spirals to the skillet mixture and stir to combine.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for additional 3-4 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened and spirals are softened to desired consistency.

Serve immediately garnished with green onions and sliced jalapeños, if desired.

Nutrition info per 1 serving: 317 calories, 17 g fat, 26.5 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 3.5 g fiber

Monday, February 3, 2020

80(ish)--- Greek Yogurt Cinnamon Rolls

Inspired by the amazing Skinny Taste bagel recipe (hello air fryer), these cinnamon rolls are the perfect little treat.  

Yes that really is the ingredient list.

No, they don't need to rise prior to baking.

Yes it's really that simple.  And delicious!

Greek Yogurt Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 6

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp white sugar
1 egg white, beaten
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
Dash salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a small baking dish with baking spray.

Combine 1 1/4 cups flour, baking powder, sugar, and Greek yogurt in a mixing bowl.  Stir with a spatula until combined, then use your hands to gently knead until a dough is formed.  Use remaining flour to lightly flour a rolling surface, then transfer dough to the surface.  Knead just until a solid dough is formed, adding a few additional dashes of flour if needed.  Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into square, 1/4-1/2" thickness.

In a microwave-safe dish combine butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Microwave for 45-60 seconds, or until butter is melted.  Mix well.

Spoon butter mixture over the dough, then roll the dough into a log.  Cut into six even slices and transfer into the baking dish. Brush rolls with a beaten egg white.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until dough is cooked through and tops are golden brown.

Glaze if desired and serve warm.

Nutrition info per 1 roll: 172 calories, 4.5 g fat, 6.5 g protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber

Saturday, January 25, 2020

80--- Chicken Marsala Dip {with Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta Dip}

Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite dishes of all time.  It's easy enough to make at home, and healthy to boot! Converting it into an easy-to-share dip was really simple..... and necessary.  The Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta Dip serves as the perfect {optional but highly recommended} accompaniment.

Chicken Marsala Dip
Serves 8

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 lb ground chicken
2 Tbsp flour
1 clove garlic, minced
16 oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped
12 oz marsala cooking wine, divided
1/2 tsp low sodium chicken bouillon paste
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Fresh parsley, chopped

Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.  Add ground chicken, mincing it into small pieces as it cooks through.  Sprinkle mixture with flour and stir to coat onions and chicken.  Add garlic and 4 oz marsala and mix well.  Stir in bouillon paste and chopped mushrooms, then reduce heat to medium.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  

Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until marsala is absorbed and mushrooms soften.  Add remaining marsala and cook for additional 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened.  

Transfer mixture to a serving dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve with slices of toasted baguette.

Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta Dip
Serves 8

14 oz chopped cauliflower
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Dashes of salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
4 oz part skim ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place chopped cauliflower and cloves of garlic on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and use your hands to mix well.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cauliflower is lightly browned.  Remove from the oven and transfer mixture to a blender.  Add ricotta cheese and chicken broth and mix until smooth.

Transfer mixture to a serving dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve.

Nutrition info per 1 serving (~1/4 cup chicken dip and 2 Tbsp ricotta dip): 190 calories, 9 g fat, 12 g carbohydrates, 16 g protein, 3 g fiber

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

80--- Favorite CREAMY Soups

January is the month for soups.  Many of these {creamy} recipes are quick to prepare, and loaded with veggies to help you meet your New Year goals.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

80---Cauliflower Chili Mac

No, I didn't create this recipe to conform to the Keto diet trend. You know I don't play those games.  I did, however, create this recipe to help you increase your intake of vegetables!  Don't be skeptical of this one- the cauliflower is such an amazing pasta replacement in this recipe!

Cauliflower Chili Mac
Serves 6

2 heads cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
Olive oil spray
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Dashes of salt and pepper
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp butter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 lb lean ground turkey
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk (I used 2% Fairlife dairy milk)
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chipotle diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place chopped cauliflower on a large baking sheet, spray with olive oil spray, and toss with seasonings and nutritional yeast.  Bake for 20 minutes (some florets may be lightly browned).  Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

While cauliflower is roasting, heat butter in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add onion and cook until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.  Add ground turkey and cook until cooked through.  Add in chicken broth, then sprinkle in flour and mix until onions and turkey are coated. Saute for 1 minute, then pour in milk.  Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to low, and stir in shredded cheese.  Mix until cheese is melted.

Stir in cauliflower, and toss until coated.  Add remaining ingredients and seasonings and fold to mix.

Transfer dutch oven to the oven, heated to 350 degrees.  Cook for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes prior to serving.

Serve garnished with chopped tomatoes, additional shredded cheddar cheese, and/or chopped spicy peppers.

Nutrition info per 1 serving: 435 calories, 22 g fat, 36 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber